Johnson set to sign with Cats

Micah Johnson stays busy playing high school basketball and some days admits he's not sure if he has time "to catch my breath" without the telephone ringing or someone wanting to talk to him or see him. However, that doesn't mean Johnson, one of the nation's top prep football players, has not found time to keep up with who else Kentucky will be signing Wednesday.

Micah Johnson stays busy playing high school basketball and some days admits he's not sure if he has time "to catch my breath" without the telephone ringing or someone wanting to talk to him or see him. However, that doesn't mean Johnson, one of the nation's top prep football players, has not found time to keep up with who else Kentucky will be signing Wednesday.

"I know I am ready to sign with Kentucky. No question about that. Some other schools kept calling hoping I would change my mind, but finally they even quit calling. They know where I am going," Johnson said. "I've stayed in contact with some of the other players that are going to sign. They are just as excited as I am. We have people that are going to be a lot better than some people think."

Johnson did his best to promote Kentucky football when he played with some of the nation's elite players at an all-star game in Texas. ESPN even arranged for him to talk to his father, who is serving with the Army in Iraq, before the game and let the nation hear the story of the family's sacrifice.

"That was really special. It had been a while since I talked to him," said Johnson, a running back-linebacker from Fort Campbell. "I didn't know that was coming until I got to the game. It was kind of a surprise, but one I loved.

"I just wanted to go to the game and represent Kentucky. I wanted to make sure everybody knew I had no second thoughts about Kentucky's future. Why not talk about the school where I am going to play?"

Johnson says those speculating about where he will play in college can stop. He's discussed his future with UK coach Rich Brooks and his staff often.

"We basically came to the conclusion that I will start working as middle linebacker and take some reps at tailback. It's up to me how much I can handle. My first focus will be on middle linebacker," Johnson said. "It's not that hard to learn to play tailback. That side of the ball will come a little easier. The coaches will tell me the plays. I should know the blocking and reads. The rest will come on my ability. I'm not worried about that."

He says the success true freshmen Wesley Woodyard and Braxton Kelley have had the past two years as true freshmen in UK's defense have given him even more confidence that he can contribute immediately. He also knows linebacker coach Chuck Smith will push him "to be the best I can be, and that's what I want" at Kentucky.

"I am pretty confident I can buy into the defensive system and figure out what is going on," Johnson said. "If I play my hardest, the plays will come. Braxton and Wesley have proven that to me. I want to follow their path and be another freshman impact player and help this team all I can."


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