"Going to Hargrave, I didn't really like it but it made me a better person," Johnson said. "I learned a lot. Going there teaches you to never give up. I worked hard and now I'm getting ready to go to Miami."
The hard work paid off for Johnson, who was unable to enroll at Auburn this past season so he went back home to south Florida to focus on his test scores and staying in shape. He did a very good job of doing both.
"It came down to me getting my academics," he said. "I worked real hard for two years and finally got the score I needed. I'm 6-foot-5 and 308 pounds right now. I've just been working out and playing a lot of basketball. I've been playing about eight games a day -- just keeping my body conditioned. I haven't been sitting around watching TV or anything like that."
The talented big man was excited when the UM coaches came calling towards the end of the 2008 season.
"It's just right down the street and it's home to me," he said. "Growing up, I always wanted to be a Hurricane so now I'll be getting that chance."
Johnson has been cleared by the NCAA and is just awaiting official word from UM. The spring semester starts on Jan 20. He's excited about the opportunity that will be there.
"I know nothing will be handed to me when I get there," he said. "I know Coach Stoutland won't hand me a spot. You gotta earn your way onto the field and that's what I'm ready to do."