Juco DT Toby Johnson ready for Athens

Last week, defensive tackle Toby Johnson (Hutchinson, Kans./Hutchinson C.C.) had surgery to repair a partially torn ACL and a torn MCL. As one of the most coveted juco prospects in the country, Johnson was reassured by several college coaches that he was still very much wanted by their programs. Georgia was one of them.

“Mark Richt called me and let me that everything would be alright, to focus on the rehab and they would not give up on me because they knew what type of player I am,” Johnson said. “Then Coach [Rodney] Garner hit me up and really calmed me down from there.”

After taking his first official visit to Oklahoma in Sept., Johnson will take his second this weekend to Athens, Ga. A former College Park (Ga.) Banneker standout, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound lineman is looking forward to learning more about the Bulldogs.

“I want to see the vibe on campus, get to know the coaches more and sit down and talk with Coach Mark RIcht,” Johnson said. “They are bringing in all their top commitments and the banquet will be a big day for the seniors.”

His interest level in Georgia has remained high throughout his recruitment, and he did not dismiss the possibility of committing this weekend.

“When I go somewhere and feel like I should commit I will go ahead and do it,” Johnson said. “If I get that feeling in Athens, I probably will commit. Georgia has been with me since day one, they stuck with me through the injury and they have always been one of my top schools. I have a good relationship with the coaches, so I just need to go down there and check it out and just go from there.”

One aspect that could affect Johnson’s recruitment is his plan to enroll.

“I will be getting out of college in May now and not in December,” Johnson said. “All of the schools recruiting me know that. Because of that I am still thinking about pushing my decision back. If I do, then I am still going to talk to the schools that have stuck with me but a lot more schools have started coming on me hard in the last few weeks. Missouri, Arizona State and Michigan State have all been on me recently. I might take an official to Missouri Dec. 14, and I am looking at possible January visits to Arizona State, Mississippi State and Miami.”

With an expected nine-month recovery time, Johnson hopes to be back by August but he is okay with redshirting if he has to.