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Michael Carvell

Mark Richt courts ex-UGA football signee

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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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