Target 2006: Carl Johnson

DURHAM, N.C. – Thank goodness Division I collegiate prospects cannot skip their senior years in high school, otherwise Southern Durham offensive tackle Carl Johnson might be tempted to leave early. Physically, he's ready.

A rising junior at 6-foot-6, 335 pounds, Johnson kept Greensboro Dudley's Demario Pressley in check during the Spartans' 5-0 win over the Panthers last season. He was timed at 5.0 and 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash last summer while camping at N.C. State.

"The kid runs like a running back," Southern coach Gordon Walters said. "He's just got a great future ahead of him.

Johnson already has many offers from major Division I schools, though Walters prefers to keep those under wraps for now. However, he did say that Carolina, Florida State and Clemson have shown the most interest in Johnson so far.

Johnson said he will not make his final decision until following his senior campaign, so there is time for the Tar Heels to prove to him they are righting the ship, both in winning and in coaching stability.

"Once they get on the right track, Carolina will be back into the type of program like when they had [Julius] Peppers," Johnson said. "But the one thing I dislike about Carolina right now is that I want to play offensive line. And I don't want to go to a school where they are constantly switching offensive line coaches."

"I'm a real funny person; I like to make jokes," Johnson said. "I'm really easy going, but on the field I let the pads do the talking."

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