Posted: 10:18 pm Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Mark Richt courts ex-UGA football signee 

By Michael Carvell

UGA’s Mark Richt spent a lot of time on the first day after the NCAA “dead period” trying to convince a former Bulldogs signee to return to the program.

Swainsboro High School wide receiver Rico Johnson signed with UGA last February but failed to get approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. This past season, Johnson played at the Atlanta-based Georgia Prep Sports Academy.

Could ex-UGA signee Rico Johnson commit to the Bulldogs this weekend? (247sports.com)

Could ex-UGA signee Rico Johnson commit to the Bulldogs this weekend? (247sports.com)

UGA only recently got back involved with Johnson, who will take an official visit with the Bulldogs this weekend. He had an in-home visit with Richt and UGA wide receivers coach Tony Ball on Thursday.

“He has an official visit set up with Georgia, and that looks like where he might end up,” Georgia Pep Sports Academy coach Mike Carson told the AJC.

“I know he still had some coursework to finish up, and Georgia was basically willing to hold off and bring him in in May. So it looks like it is going to work out for him.”

The 5-foot-11, 172-pound Johnson has blazing speed and won a state championship in track in the 100 meters at Swainsboro in 2012. Johnson was approached by other schools when it appeared that UGA was going in a different direction this year.

“Middle Tennessee State and Marshall had both offered him; They were trying to get him in there in January,” Carson said. “He was initially leaning toward Middle Tennessee State but then Georgia came back into the picture. He is taking an official to Georgia, and I think that’s where his heart is anyways.”

Johnson is being courted by UGA at wide receiver, which is big need for the Bulldogs because performance out of that position has been disappointing in the last two classes.

“Rico is a great player, man,” Carson said. “He has the potential to be as good as he wants to be. He played a little cornerback for us in certain situations but he’s an all-around good athlete. He can play some football.”

Johnson, who turns 20 years old next month, could commit to UGA over the weekend. The Bulldogs still have his signee bio posted HERE on the school’s website.

MORE UGA NEWS

A top high school junior from the state of Tennessee, safety Rico McGraw, committed to UGA via Twitter on Thursday night. The 6-1, 180-pound McGraw is Tennessee’s No. 1-ranked player for 2015, according to 247sports.com. UGA now has two commits for 2015, with Griffin WR Christian Owens being the other.

https://twitter.com/LoveHateRico/status/424003992587603968

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15 comments
TacoMeat
TacoMeat

"Johnson is being courted by UGA at wide receiver, which is big need for the Bulldogs because performance out of that position has been disappointing in the last two classes."


Then WHY are we moving what could be one of our biggest weapons - Tramel Terry - to defense??

96JB
96JB

Coach Pruitt lands the #1 ranked Player in Tennessee last night. A DB. A big one. In Rivals 100. Go Big Orange and Butch Jones LOL

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

this young man will be a great addition to our program. my sources tell me he will end up at uga and I believe nobody in the sec will be able to catch him. its just to easy to be a bulldawg sometimes.

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

A lot of people give CMR a hard time about booting kids off of the team but the truth is he always has their best interests at heart. If his interest were all about himself he would never let elite kids like Mettenberger or Marshall sign with other SEC schools to compete against him. Sometimes you hate to lose kids, especially when other schools keep them pretty much regardless of what they do, but at the end of the day these kids will come back to Richt and thank him and the world will be a better place. In this regard, Richt is as good as it gets.

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

A lot of people give CMR a hard time about booting kids off of the team but the truth is he always has their best interests at heart. If his interest were all about himself he would never let elite kids like Mettenberger or Marshall sign with other SEC schools to compete against him. Sometimes you hate to lose kids, especially when other schools keep them pretty much regardless of what they do, but at the end of the day these kids will come back to Richt and thank him and the world will be a better place. In this regard, Richt is as good as it gets.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Are there legitimate, accredited classes at a prep sports academy? Not a very credible name for a SCHOOL.

The SCHOOL creators should have thought that name better.

Or are they just out to leach off of ignorant athletes and their families?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Way to go both Rico's!

Woofer
Woofer

Any reason no other major schools offered, it he is as good as his coach says?


keendaddy
keendaddy

Coaches will need to keep a close eye on his school work. I'm sure the young man can do it if he applies himself...

POAD2013
POAD2013

Sounds like UGa will get the guy to recommit. Hope he can do the school work and really got so good study habits started during his year of Post Graduate work.

Natureboy809
Natureboy809

@TacoMeat 

IMO, that statement couldn't be further from the truth.  We have some really good WRs who have played well the past two years (until the injury bug set in).  Conley, Bennett, Mitchell, and Scott-Wesley are all very solid WRs.


C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@TacoMeat 

Remember that these kids still have a lot of growing to do after 17 years old. Sometimes they grow out of a position and Richt is trying to put them in a position that they will be able to go Pro with or let them play another position and then let them decide.

You will see Marshall at Auburn will in the end being  a Defensive Back in the Pro's not a Quarterback.

birdrow
birdrow

Good thing he isn't having to qualify for Tech.  He could never pass the Nuclear Physics Pre-Entry exam required of all Tech Student Atheletes.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@birdrow 

Why so much jealousy. To get a degree from Georgia Tech and especially in Math or Physics would be one of the greatest accomplishments in ones life time. Nothing an Athlete could do on the field could top that as a life time Accomplishment. The athlete will  be done with his sport like Football in his mid to late 30's where the Tech Graduate is just getting started with his life.