Toby Johnson shining as juco prospect

Arguably one of the nation’s top junior college prospects, Toby Johnson (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson Community College) isn’t far away from choosing a BCS home. He currently has 18 offers to choose from, and he could add a few more by the summer.

It’s a huge step for a player who didn’t get a lot of looks coming out of high school.

“Out of high school, I felt underrated,” said Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman who played at Banneker High School in College Park, Ga. “I only played football for two years. They really kind of threw me out there my junior year.

“I figured if I took the juco route, I could get some looks. I didn’t think it would be like this, though.”

Johnson has offers from SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big 10 schools, including Georgia, USC, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Baylor and his latest offer, TCU. He also has offers from in-state schools Kansas and Kansas State and is receiving interest from powers such as LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Florida.

Johnson was a key piece to a Hutchinson team that finished 9-3 and was ranked No. 9 in the final NJCAA poll for the 2011 season. He had 44 tackles, two sacks, five pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Johnson is talented enough to play both the defensive tackle and defensive end spots, but he is being recruited by many schools as a defensive tackle.

Johnson picked up the TCU offer on Tuesday. He said the school he chooses will give him an opportunity to play early and often, and it’ll be a place where a lot of winning will be expected.