"I can't wait to be a Gamecock"

Aynor (SC) 3-star offensive lineman T.J. Johnson committed to South Carolina last July and has remained firm in his pledge ever since. On Wednesday morning Johnson will sign his letter of intent with USC, and the hard-nosed lineman is excited about what the future holds in store for the Gamecock football program.

GamecockAnthem.com caught up with Johnson, the nation's no. 15 rated offensive guard prospect, and he discussed his plans for Signing Day as well as what he's looking forward to accomplishing in the coming years at South Carolina.

"I'm signing at my school at 10 o'clock, and then I'm going to one of the news stations with all of the local guys and they're going to do a little session with us," said Johnson. "I can't wait to be a Gamecock. I'm just ready to help Carolina win an SEC Championship and one day a national championship. I'm going to do everything in my power to help accomplish that."

The 6'4", 285 pound lineman committed to USC last summer over offers from Kentucky, N.C. State, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Duke and others, and Johnson said that several factors ultimately helped him decide to be a Gamecock.

"It was a lot of things. I really like Coach Spurrier, and then Coach Hunt is a great offensive line coach. I feel like South Carolina is the best school to possibly get me to the next level. The fan base is what's really great about South Carolina too. I'll be at a gas station around here and somebody will just holler out, 'Go Cocks!' It's just been a lot of fun."

According to Johnson, a few opposing schools have tried to sway him from his USC commitment in recent months, but he has remained solid in his pledge to the Gamecocks.

"There have been a few schools that have tried to talk to me. I'm not going to say who, but I think everybody pretty much knew where I was going the whole time. I'm a Gamecock."

Johnson was considered by many to be one of the top offensive linemen in attendance throughout the week of practice at the Shrine Bowl last December, but unfortunately he broke a small bone in his left ankle early in the game itself. He has since rehabbed that injury and is cleared to work out at 100-percent again as he prepares for the jump to the college level.

"I've been lifting weights really hard and running as well. I've just been cleared to start running again. I'm lifting (twice a day), and I'm trying to eat right also. I'm up to 285 (pounds) right now."

The in-state standout closed by passing on a message for the Gamecock Nation.

"I just want to let everybody know that I'm happy to be a Gamecock, and I can't wait to help Carolina win an SEC Championship."

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