Early Graduation is Set

Zach Mettenberger, Anthony Johnson and Kenny Hilliard all enrolled early this spring, giving them a semester head start on the rest of the 2011 signees. Now, one of LSU's top commitments for 2012 has announced that he will graduate next December.

Avery Johnson was LSU’s first pledge to the Class of 2012, committing to Les Miles last September and in turn ending a recruitment process that would have been one of the most heated in the Sunshine State.

Following in the footsteps of older brother Patrick Peterson, the Pompano Beach, Fla. native decided on Baton Rouge over an offer list that included the likes of Florida, Miami, Florida State and Auburn.

“I just knew that I wanted to be there for school and be able to play on Saturdays in Death Valley,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t a tough decision for me even with all the other schools interested. I know the program and my family all supports the decision. It’s part of us now.”

After seeing big brother play from his freshman season through his junior season before exiting for the NFL Draft, Johnson has his sights set on a goal far greater than early playing time.

“I want to start as a true freshman, that’s my goal and I will reach it,” said the four-star wide receiver. “I have been working out every day to be the best, and coach Billy (Gonzales) told me that if I can outwork the other guys ahead of me then I have the talent to start. My brother told me the exact same thing.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound wideout took a major step in the right direction when he made the decision to enroll at LSU next January, a move made possible by his good standing in the classroom.

“I went to my guidance counselor and found out that I am good on everything except three courses,” he said. “So next fall I will take English 4, American Government, and Economics. After that I will have all my coursework completed and will be able to graduate in December.

“From there I will get over to Baton Rouge and start school. Working out with the team will be great. To think that at this time next year I will be competing in spring camp is wild, but I am ready for it.”

Johnson plans to visit for the LSU Spring Game on April 9.

“I am really looking forward to being back over there and seeing them in person, and I will bring over some buddies with me so that they can check it out,” he said. “(Miami commitment) Keith Brown told me that he would make it over. I am trying to talk with Tracy Howard and Deon Bush, as well. Those are some of the Florida kids that I am trying to work on right now.”

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