GIDEL: Hargrave's Johnson Sees Opportunity

With Aaron Miller's departure, the door is open for Hargrave's Christian Johnson, who at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds of pure strength, might be the most likely candidate to help immediately

After a year of prep school and having to withstand two years of the recruiting process, Hargrave Prep's Christian Johnson is finally ready to go.

An enrollment two years in the making, the Fort Campbell (Ky.) native will finally head off to college on the 20th of this month.

To say the homegrown Wildcat fan is ready to go, would be a gross understatement. "Yes I am working hard," Johnson said, "I cant wait to get up there."

Johnson is working hard for a cause. "I feel alot of people will have an advantage on me, be it, they had more scholarship offers or they've been at UK for a few years or maybe even because they are a more experienced player on the college level.

"I promise, though" Johnson continued, "when I put the pads on, it's gonna be straight business. I am coming to start,"

Johnson has other means for wanting to make an impact this year, and they far exceed himself. Johnson is wanting to prove that Kentucky is more then just the place for him - he's out to represent to his other siblings as well.

"I feel me doing well at UK will be an incentive for my other brothers wanting to come here," Johnson said, referring to UK's recruiting efforts of brothers, Micah and Nathaniel. "I feel I can help UK this season, especially since I heard they are moving Fatu Turituri to left tackle. I feel that left guard is now up for grabs and that's where I wanna be."

At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, Johnson will be the strongest incoming freshmen of the 2004 recruiting class, already benching well over 400 and nearly squatting 600 pounds. Those numbers are genuinely associated with a redshirt sophomore, not an incoming freshmen.

"I am going to try to bring leadership, strength, team work," Johnson offered, "but I also wanna bring some aggressive and meaness to the team. I wanna get them pumped."

Johnson first caught the eye of then recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips during the summer, when he trained and worked out at Fort Campbell High School with brother, Micah. Phillips remained in contact up until a fall combine at Hargrave, where Christian benched an impressive 225 pounds - 25 times. That moment not only brought forth Kentucky's scholarship offer, but several others including Cincinnati, Akron, Buffalo, Maryland and Virginia Tech.

"The way Christian moves," offensive line coach Brian White said about Johnson, "you know, Christian was a big part of our offense last season. We put him at guard and we would have him 'pull' on a lot of our running plays at Hargrave. The way he moves and gets out there so quick, he's athletic enough to handle those linebackers."

"Colleges drool over a kid that can move like that."

Ultimately the love for the Wildcats and the state he and his family call home won out and despite the talk of grayshirting, Johnson stuck behind the commitment he made to the program in December.

"I have pride in UK and my class," Johnson said, "I feel we are the start of the new UK. I just want to be a role model and stay humble with God on my side. Thats half of my plan - to become a successful student slash athlete."

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