Clear Cut

He may be built for basketball, but football just came natural for wide receiver Gilbert Johnson.

The 6-foot-3, 192 pound Georgia commit grew up in Homestead, Fla. where he began playing football around the age of seven. Currently a senior at Homestead Senior High School, Johnson says football was his sport.

"It's real hard to get recruited in basketball in Florida because there's not really that much exposure to big colleges down here with basketball, and football really came to me more naturally because I played it when I was younger," Johnson said. "I just thought football was easier for me than basketball was."

The decision to play football was almost as easy for Johnson as was his decision to play his college football at Georgia. The three-star wideout committed to Georgia at the Mark Richt Camp in June, where he felt wide receivers' Coach Tony Ball had the right message.

"I liked Coach Ball at the camp--the way he coached and the things he taught me in the short period of time that I was there," Johnson said.

Along with Coach Ball's style, Johnson grew infatuated with the Classic City landscape, though it's a bit different than what he's accustomed to seeing in South Florida. It was just one of the many things that led Johnson to his decision.

"Really the people that are there, like the staff and the environment," Johnson said. "I like the city of Athens. I was downtown and saw some nice things down there; really nice scenery and everything."

However, Johnson admits there might be some communication breakdowns initially.

"It won't really be that much different. The only thing that will probably be different is the accents of the people that are up there," Johnson joked.

Once he gets past the language barrier, though, the football part won't be hard for Johnson to comprehend. He's ready to get on the field and use his body control and size to show defenses what he can do.

Though he doesn't claim to model his game after any former Bulldogs, he's watched a few that he wouldn't mind favoring.

"I grew up watching A.J. Green, and I figured if I could get the chance to be in that role I'd take it," Johnson said.

Johnson has a few areas he feels he can improve on. Among the major ones, two areas to refine will be his ability to maintain focus and to catch crucial passes.

However, Johnson claims getting open is the best place to start.

"Work on my speed and my route-running," Johnson said. "Getting better at my route-running."

His goals, however, are clear-cut.

"Really just coming in as a big receiver and hopefully catching a lot of passes," Johnson said. "Just being down there, winning games, celebrating with the team and things like that."


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