Posted: 6:51 pm Monday, January 20th, 2014

Rico Johnson: UGA turns to familiar face for commit No. 17 

By Michael Carvell

It was a day later than expected, but UGA finally got commitment No. 17 on Monday.

Wide receiver Rico Johnson, who signed with UGA last year but did not qualify, committed to the Bulldogs after taking an official visit.

Johnson, who attended Swainsboro High School and played at Georgia Prep Sports Academy this past season, picked UGA over Middle Tennessee State and Marshall.

“I’m happy for Rico because this was his dream to go back to UGA,” Mike Carson, coach of Georgia Prep Sports Academy.

“I’m just glad that we were able to be a part of that process for him. I’m real excited about it. Coming into our program, that was his intent or hope that the University of Georgia would stay on him. I know it got kind of rocky there for a while. But in the end, it all worked out for him.”

Until Johnson took his recruiting trip to UGA, it wasn’t a sure thing that he would try to play again for the Bulldogs. He didn’t have serious interest from UGA until recently, with Mark Richt pretty much sealing the deal with a trip to Swainsboro for an in-home visit last Thursday.

“He had a great weekend with Coach Richt on the official visit, and I’m just happy for the kid,” Carson said. “They felt like he was their kid coming out of high school and, in my conversations with (UGA wide receivers coach Tony Ball), they just wanted to stay true to their commitment to him.”

Johnson is similar to UGA’s Justin Scott-Wesley out of high school – he’s a raw and undeveloped wide receiver with top-end speed that can stretch the field. Like Scott-Wesley, Johnson was a high school track star, winning a state championship in the 100 meters in 2012.

“You can’t coach speed,” Carson said. “I just reflect back to the first game against LaGrange College. We don’t want a punt fielded if it’s over your head inside the 10-yard line. Well, Rico fields the ball three yards deep into the end zone, and takes it 103 yards for the touchdown.

“Speed definitely kills. He can score from anywhere on the field anytime he touches the ball.”

After signing with UGA last February, Johnson failed to get approved by the NCAA’s Clearinghouse. He will finish the last part of his necessary coursework this week, according to Carson.

“There were some rocky moments but in the end, it all worked out for Rico,” Carson said. “That’s what is most important.”

Finding a big-time playmaker at wide receiver is a big priority for UGA’s 2014 class because there hasn’t been much productivity yet out of the team’s last two classes at the position.

UGA now has 17 commitments, and could sign between 20-22 in February.

SINCE YOU LAST CHECKED THE BLOG …

FROM OVER THR WEEKEND

BUT. THERE’S. MORE.

DID YOU SEE THIS?

BOOKMARK THE AJC’S RECRUITING PAGE

66 comments
POAD2013
POAD2013

Good luck young man......

I hope the Section 8 housing market picks up with the next president so you can put that UGa Housing Degree to good use......


Really that is a great accomplishment getting your grades and test scores up and getting in UGa.

Stay out of trouble and do your best. 

RedStick1
RedStick1

Congratulations to the kid for doing what he he had to do to make it to Athens.

Classof98
Classof98

CONGRATS RICO!!!  WELCOME TO UGA!!!

GTMan1949
GTMan1949

  Not much of a change for academics from Georgia Prep Sports Academy. Will be the same courses, he should max them all.

keendaddy
keendaddy

Attention All Techies***

Go ahead and make fun of MTSU, LOL...2012 was the end of the World according to Hollywood and Tech Football Fans, as the Blue Raiders of MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY DESTROYED GEORGIA TECH BY A SCORE OF-----49 TO 28-----Bwaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

TU
TU

Guys who can run 15 mph and catch a football are few and far between. When opposing defenses can contract their coverage, it is more difficult for the possession receivers to get open.


D-Sheets
D-Sheets

“I just reflect back to the first game against LaGrange College. We don’t want a punt fielded if it’s over your head inside the 10-yard line."


Well, Rico fields the ball...THREE YARDS DEEP INTO THE ENDZONE....

---------------------

So many kids these days have too many uncoachable moments.  What's coach's response if RJ would have been tackled...THREE YARDS DEEP INTO THE ENDZONE...for a safety?

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

After signing with UGA last February, Johnson failed to get approved by the NCAA’s Clearinghouse.

--------------------


Mike Banning,

Didn't Custis (GT) have a "clearinghouse" issue too? 

I fully expect to read you railing on one your UGA recruits now too!

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

Wide receiver Rico Johnson committed to the Bulldogs after taking an official visit.


Johnson, who attended Swainsboro High School and played at Georgia Prep Sports Academy this past season, picked UGA over....wait for it...waaait for it..............Middle Tennessee State and Marshall.

---------------------------------

OMG!  Mike Banning (or any of his merry-men) am I reading this correctly?   Did UGA just pull a PJ beating out MTSU & Marshall for a recruit?

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Is this Sports Academy a JC or Prep School?  Does he have 3 or 4 years at UGA?

GetontheGusBus
GetontheGusBus

Wow UGA signing a Juco player. Thought that didn't happen the way y'all bash other schools for doing the same thing!

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

Congrats to the young man but know the SEC is not Lagrange College. It is a concern the coach mentions a specific fielding rule of Punts and not only does he break it, but deep in his endzone. While it worked that time, he speaks to a potential lack of discipline or a look at me attitude. While I hope thats not the case but at first blush....?

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Put him at kick returner and punt returner. We don't have a true #1 guy at either. Let's see what he's got. Speed does kill. Well I take that back. I guess Malcolm Mitchell would be the guy. But coming off an injury, does he want to risk it? I want someone back there who will be a threat to take it to the house everytime he touches it. Sorta like Brandon Boykin

Gandolph
Gandolph

Don't you geniuses have anything else to do besides trash a kid that worked hard to make his dream come true?  He committed last year and had to work hard to get academic qualification from the NCAA.  Get off of his back, dumbutts!

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

4.34 and 4.4 forty-yard times, yeah that will stretch the field for this fine-looking young man Rico Johnson who moves UGA up to # 13 in the rankings 3 Wednesdays from now by getting in to UGA recruited by  Mike Bobo.


Where is Georgie tek ?


# 52 like always with Paul Johnson, when as recently as 2007 Georgie tek was ranked # 15 recruiting class, parlayed into 9-4 in 2008 and 10-3 in 2009, but no ACC Championship or win over Clemson - both vacated by NCAA and ACC when NCAA put Georgie tek back onto NCAA Probation for all of 2014.

RandyHall
RandyHall

This kid will be more of an asset than giving the scholarship to a walk-on...Will help ST's and WR's in the future....Tony Ball needs to pick up his recruiting and stop living off the accolades that he recruited AJ Green but has missed out on the State's best WR 4 out of the last 5 years plus such well known receivers as Ty Montgomery, Marquez North, and Josh Malone....all potential high 1st Round Picks...oh how could that have changed this Team!!!!

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

Looks like Miss St's Geoff Collins is gonna stay put. FSU was going after him hard but but MSU upped his pay and contract today. I still hear UGA's being patient in waiting to see who FSU hires before they go after their assistants. Also heard a rumor that UK's secondary coach is in play. Seems as though their secondary was improved and he's got quite a name amongst the HS coaches in S. Ga. excellent recruiter. Ky hired him to get inroads in Ga. Would love to hear of a DL hire soon!

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

Holy Snikey.....Middle Tennessee State must be stunned after letting UGA steal one from under their noses. What a joke. Next thing you know we will steal a recruit from Akron. The Mark Rick ship is sinking fast over in Athens. It all started with the hiring of John Pruitt instead of holding out for Kippy Smart. Its a sad sad day to be a Georgia Dawg.

FrankFraticelli
FrankFraticelli

He needed some academic help - he got it - he cleared the hurdle he needed to...onward - welcome to UGA! Go Dawgs!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Graphite, what are you trying to say?

thebucket
thebucket

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie It sure is Willie! Apparently we have a bunch of nerds that are offended that a young man black man who doesn't measure up to their standards is going to have an opportunity to go to a major college and attend classes and play football. A university is diversified with students who excel in academics, fine arts, and athletics. I guess they think that an athlete shouldn't be allowed to go to college unless they are as smart as their high school valedictorian or can play Mozart and recite Shakespeare. I wonder how many of those high school valedictorians can run a punt back 103 yards? The athletic department at a lot of high schools and colleges are footing the bill for many academic and fine arts endeavors.

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@D-Sheets Coach's first response would have likely have been to the referee saying, "That's not a Safety.  Please move the ball to the 20 yard line."


Ball would have had to have been taken out of the end zone and then returned to the end zone for a Safety to have occurred.


Also, how is that an "uncoachable" moment?  That seems like a VERY coachable moment.

GTBob
GTBob

@D-Sheets Custis had a unique issue that appeared to be related to a mistake by his high school related to his graduation test. He is now enrolled at GT after straightening it out. It isn't quite the same as just not qualifying academically and having to go to JUCO.

thebucket
thebucket

@D-Sheets You mean GT took a guy with clearinghouse issues? Don't tell the princess!

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

@Quackmeyer I will say he has about 1 year when you consider the suspensions, arrests, and academic problems that are probably coming his way. Coach Rick has gotten into the thUGA business over in Athens so he can keep collecting his millions and doing truck commericials. My donation to the AD is on hold til I see some positive changes.

thebucket
thebucket

@GetontheGusBus Nice try. UGA fans have only bashed Auburn for taking JUCO players that got kicked out of other SEC schools and then came to Auburn from JUCO. You know that and deliberately left that part out.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@Gandolph 

You actually read these fools comments. You do know they are probably 12 to 15 years old. At least I hope they are. They certainly are not adults. With the probability that maybe one is an adult in age only. If by some miracle they have kids they need psychiatric help and their kids de-programmed.  

Dawgilama
Dawgilama

@RandyHall Bobo was the  lead recruiter  for Malone , why don't you just list  every WR that signed  somewhere else. Good thing  they missed on Robinson (Not  at Fl any longer), Jaquay Williams Non qualifier,and dodged a  bullet when Da Rick Rogers flipped. Never seen someone  cry as  much over  Kids who decided to go elsewhere and never mentioning  the  job the coaches do  with Bennett, Mitchell, Scott Wesley. and  Chris Conley. 

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@SlawDawg


SLAW dog handle and you think you are fooling anyone that you're a Georgie tek fan who does not want the obvious replies about your recruiting class ranked # 52 again this morning.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@SlawDawg 


"John Pruitt?"  Any kin to Jeremy Pruitt?


Somewhere out there is s tree tirelessly producing oxygen to keep you alive...I think you owe it an apology!

GDawg929
GDawg929

You are an idiot. Rico will be a great WR and returner. Why don't you go pull for the SC c#cks.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@thebucket did you read all the UGa fans calling out a black man's mom the other day? Yes UGa fans are so racially sensitive. 

I like how you said ATTEND CLASSES.

Name 1...ONE high school or college sport program that PAYS the bill of ACADEMICS.....We will wait, but we will not hold our breath until you can find 1..ONE..athletic program that supports Academic endeavours. 

keendaddy
keendaddy

Schlawdog,

Get back in the Varsity kitchen and cook us some Ring's. I just left you a "donation" in my toilet bowl...

thebucket
thebucket

@SlawDawg@Quackmeyer SlawDawg - drop the act. You can put Dawg in your name till the cows come home, but no one on here is deceived by you. You are not a Dawg and you never were one. Stop embarrassing yourself.

GetontheGusBus
GetontheGusBus

@thebucket@GetontheGusBus No you bashed the qb that went to LSU also. Funny how Newton & Marshall where on everyone's wish list but AU is the only team that wanted them. Most Juco players had problems or they would not be in Juco.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@C-Kirk


We aren't supposed to read anyone's comments, but we are supposed to read your comments ? 

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

@JeffersonDavisHogg@RandyHall


Right as rain, both of you, and Michael Carvell who liked your post also !  And, see how he does in practice defending the pass, too.  Cannot be as bad as it has been there either, us 5-19 vs teams making Top 10 all Mark Richt era, 2-13 after 2007.  And, against all 16 SEC teams who put up a winning SEC record after 2007, we have won 4.

thebucket
thebucket

@POAD2013 And before you come back with an attack on me personally, do a little reading: "When McGarity took over, his vision was to make an already esteemed and respected Southeastern Conference athletics department the best in the United States. In his two years at the helm thus far, McGarity’s athletic department has been able to donate between $4 million and $5 million annually back to the university itself. In fact, McGarity says the department has returned about $25 million back to UGA over the last decade." http://education-executive.com/index.php/featured-reports/1232-university-of-georgia-athletic-department


That's just one example of the thousands that would exist all across America. Who again is the dumba**?

thebucket
thebucket

@POAD2013@thebucket You don't read well do you? Go back and read the first response to Willie and see the diversity statement about academics, fine arts, and athletics. The band is a part of the fine arts department. And do you think 90,000 people would come to watch the band play in a college stadium or do you think they show up to watch the football team? In HS do you think 10,000 people show up to listen to the band or do you think the football game is the main attraction? The band at most colleges and high schools benefits tremendously from the athletics departments. Also, the athletic department at many colleges greatly enhances the image and overall visibility of the university. If you think the money generated by the athletic departments doesn't benefit these schools presidents and professors and board of regents, then you don't know many of those people. There would be protests all across the country if those people weren't getting a cut of the overall profits.


If you want an academic institution that is totally pure and free from the influence of the athletic department then so be it. But you need to stay off sports blogs because you are showing a great deal of ignorance of the way the real world works.


Your main problem is that you have chosen to support a team in this state that has chosen not to join with the ranks of Stanford and Vanderbilt and try to compete in academics and football. You are desperate because your existence obviously depends on whether Tech can beat UGA in football. That hasn't happened a lot lately and so you spend all day everyday hating all things UGA.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@thebucket @POAD2013 DUMBASS...the Band plays at FOOTBALL GAMES and the BAND uniforms are NOT ACADEMIC needs. The BAND does car washes and crap to go on trios and for uniforms the football team HELPED pay for stuff but that was the BOOSTERS.......You are too DUMB to even know. So the Football GAME TICKETS goes to WHO? The School or the Football Team? The BAND doesn't MARCh at basketball games so WHO does the price of the basketball game benefit? The Athletics money generated are not NOT used for ACADEMIC needs. the BAND is not an ACADEMIC institution. The football team FUNDS don't help the BAND. Band Uniforms are not ACADEMIC and the BAND does Bake Sales and other crap to raise money for their trips and uniforms. TRY AGAIN. 

thebucket
thebucket

@POAD2013@thebucket I saw a lot of Tech fans who pretend to be UGA fans going after the kid's mom. You guys really are pathetic.

thebucket
thebucket

@POAD2013@thebucket BTW, at the rural high school from the county I come from the band gets new uniforms every couple of years and you know how that happens? The FOOTBALL team pays for them out of the money that is made on Friday nights!!!!!!!!!!!!

thebucket
thebucket

@POAD2013@thebucket Actually I don't have to name just one because there are too many to count if you go out to the rural counties. If you left your elitist surroundings in the ATL area you might realize that there are a lot more people who live in little towns all across the state of Georgia. Some of those kids are not being groomed to be engineers, but some of them possess unique athletic skills and have the opportunity to rise above their current circumstances if they are given the chance. But I guess you think all poor people should be forced to go to small community colleges so that it will give your team a better chance to beat the team you are obsessed with 24/7.