19 in 19: OL Kaleb Johnson

Kaleb Johnson made a big splash on National Signing Day when he picked Rutgers over North Carolina, Miami and Louisville. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman marks the sixth entry in our "19 in 19" series. Premium members, come see Johnson's take on preparing for school and where he fits on the offensive line.

Edward H. White (Jacksonville) offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson is sick of high school. He's sick of Florida. Johnson is ready to toast to the next step.

"I'm ready," Johnson said. "People say I should try and not rush it and enjoy my time. But I feel like my task in Jacksonville has been completed. I'm ready start a new path and my path starts at Rutgers."

Johnson committed to Rutgers on National Signing Day and marked a huge addition to the Class of 2011 after linemen Marquis Lucas and Josue Matias fell out after verbal commitments.

Joining Keith Lumpkin as incoming linemen, Johnson hopes to improve an offensive line that gave up an embarrassing 61 sacks last season.

"I know they weren't as good as they could be last season," Johnson said. "That's not going to happen anymore."

Cleared academically, Johnson will enroll in classes at the end of May for the first summer session. Edward H. White High School ends in mid-May, giving Johnson a few weeks between high school and college.

"I can't wait," Johnson said. "I'm done waiting. I've been waiting since the second football season ended. After I signed on Signing Day, I was ready to go to Rutgers that day. I can't wait. I feel antsy. I'm ready to go."

At 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Johnson has more size than the average center, but recent developments imply he may get a look there when he arrives on the Banks.

Dallas Hendrikson is out for the season with a knee injury and the only other true center on the roster is David Osei. Johnson, however, has no idea what to expect in terms of his position.

"[Coach Greg Schiano] was telling me that they were trying to find the right spot for me," Johnson said. "He said I'm so versatile, they don't really know how they want to use me."

Following the spring game, Johnson got a phone call from Schiano and the two discussed his preparations for college.

"We talked about what the spring game was like and how things were going," Johnson said. "That really put me over the top. Before then, I could kind of contain my feelings. Now, I just need to get up there."

As of the spring game, Johnson's status on the line was unknown, but he hopes to join the ranks of other true freshman starters like Anthony Davis and Art Forst.

"I'd been preparing (to play) probably guard or tackle, but now it sounds like they might try me at center," Johnson said. "I would be OK with that."

The chances of Johnson getting a look at center likely come down to Osei's progress as the first-team center going into camp and Caleb Ruch's and Forst's progress as backups. If Johnson does get a look, it may be an awkward transition, he said.

"I haven't played center since I was 11 and it was all shotgun snaps," he said. "I'm good at snaps."

Scarlet Report Top Stories