LEMOND: Decision not easy for Micah Johnson

What's the only thing bigger than Fort Campbell football star Micah Johnson?

What's the only thing bigger than Fort Campbell football star Micah Johnson?

It was Kentucky's desire to sign him. The number one player atop Rich Brooks' recruiting "wish list" finally made it official on National Signing Day by signing his letter of intent to play for the Kentucky Wildcats. "It was hard to make my decision," Johnson admitted after signing his papers. "It came down to Georgia, the University of Kentucky, and Notre Dame, but it feels good to finally get it over with, so I'm happy."

Nobody though is happier than Rich Brooks and his coaching staff. 34 players signed their letters of intent on National Signing Day to play for Kentucky, but none bigger and more important than Johnson. Jamal Mashburn was a "program changing" type of recruit for Rick Pitino and the UK basketball program. Micah Johnson could do the same for the UK football program.

"I felt that UK had everything right to offer," Johnson said. Kentucky though also had something that the other schools didn't have, his older brother. Christian Johnson saw lots of playing time last season on the Cats offensive line. Micah attended almost every UK game to watch his brother play.

Micah said, "I think I can go there (UK) and play early, like I could have at the other schools, but with my brother being up there, I just thought the situation was the best. It's where I felt like my heart was at."

Making the jump from high school football to the Southeastern Conference is tough for most young football players to take. That shouldn't be a problem for Johnson, who was the overwhelming winner of Kentucky's Mr. Football and also played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. Johnson says growing up in a military family taught him discipline, and that's something that should help him adapt to college football and college life.

"It (a military family) makes me a different person," Johnson said. "It's kind of a different upbringing in a lot of ways. I've always had discipline, so it won't be an issue for me to work hard."

Growing up in a military family also has it's hardships. Johnson's father, Nathaniel, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and has been serving in Kuwait. Mr. Johnson had to miss seeing his sons play this past season, and also had to miss Micah's big signing ceremony on Signing Day.

"He is proud of me," Micah said of his father. "I let him know where I was going. He wished he could have been here to be a part of it (Signing Day), but I told him, 'It's all good', and that I was going to work hard for him."

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