VAUGHT: Micah Johnson building at UK

Micah Johnson thought about not playing in the Kentucky-Tennessee all-star football game next month. His father would prefer that he not play and risk an injury and Johnson knows he could probably use the week to work on learning the defense he'll be playing at the University of Kentucky.

But Johnson is going to play because he just couldn't stand the thought of not being on the field. "It was just too hard for me to give up the opportunity to put on the pads again and play a game. I also wanted to start building relationships with my future teammates at Kentucky. And I want to beat Tennessee. Kentucky has had a good thing going in this game. I want to help continue that," said Johnson, the standout linebacker-runinng back from Fort Campbell.

Johnson gave needed credibility to Rich Brooks' program by signing with the Wildcats. His presence on the all-star team will bring even more attention to the game because UK fans are going to want to watch his every move.

But that's fine with Johnson because he's just as anxious to get to Kentucky and start his collegiate career.

"All I am looking forward to is college football. My prom was nothing. Graduation is big, but not that big," he said. "All I do is think about playing for UK and working as hard as I can to be ready. I call (my brother) Christian (at UK) all the time. He's probably sick of me asking him questions about the team. I just have this hunger to get there and play. I never thought I would be so hungry to have success at something. But this is big. Football has always been it for me. I just have to finish out grade-wise like I should and then I'm set to go. If was a big relief when I got my test score and now I'm looking forward to playing at Kentucky," Johnson said.

He's also thinking about his future. He helped persuade several players to sign with UK in February. He's already hard at work trying to do the same with some of the state's top juniors now.

"I never stop talking about UK. I can't stop," he said. "I want everybody to experience it, too. I don't want guys to get caught up in just going to winning programs because at the end of the day, that doesn't guarantee you success. A lot of coaches sell that too much and convince players they have to go to an established program. Why not be part of getting the best possible players together and building a foundation rather than be part of something already set. I feel we can start something special at Kentucky and when someone gives me a chance to tell them that, I do."

AllWildcats Top Stories