Ex-UGA football signee plays the waiting game

Gilbert Johnson, who signed with UGA last year but failed to qualify academically, still considers himself committed to the Bulldogs.

But nobody else is sure if the 3-star wide receiver from Miami will ever play for UGA.

WR Gilbert Johnson (AJC)

WR Gilbert Johnson (AJC)

After Johnson fell short of NCAA requirements, he enrolled this summer at Georgia Prep Sports Academy, a prep school in Atlanta.

Johnson had two goals for prep school: To improve his academics and to improve his football skills.

At the end of October, both of Johnson’s goals are still a work in progress.

He’s missed almost the entire football season after aggravating a knee injury from high school. As far as academics, Johnson took the ACT test last Saturday, and is awaiting the results. He’s also enrolled in an online math class that could boost his GPA.

“It’s really going to be a long shot for him to meet the requirements to get into Georgia in January,” GPSA coach Mike Carson told the AJC. “I haven’t talked with (UGA’s coaches) in a minute because I really haven’t had anything to talk with them about.

“Gilbert hasn’t been on the field with us after the knee injury. We haven’t really had any conversations with Georgia so I’m really not sure what’s going to happen with him. I’m just hoping and praying he’s focusing on his academics.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to get what he needs in terms of getting qualified for any Division I program and then see what happens. I do know the University of Texas has called and inquired about him. But you know, where all this goes is really going to depend on what he does academically.”

Johnson’s coach said he hasn’t had any contact with UGA since Johnson attended Dawg Night prospect camp last July. Carson said both he and Johnson got some encouraging words there from UGA wide receivers coach Tony Ball.

“That was last July, but they were very much still committed to Gilbert at the time,” Carson said. “It’s all about the academics. It’s a similar situation to Rico Johnson, as it relates to academics. It’s up to Gilbert to get what he needs to get academically in order for Georgia to honor that commitment. We’ll see what happens. If it doesn’t work out at Georgia, hopefully it will work out somewhere.”

Gilbert Johnson’s best hope is a situation like Rico Johnson. Rico signed with UGA in 2013 but failed to qualify. He played last season at GPSA and finally qualified a couple of months before last February’s signing day. UGA ultimately decided to give Rico Johnson another chance, taking him again in this past year’s class.

Gilbert Johnson is not listed as a 2015 UGA commit by Rivals, Scout, ESPN or 247sports. He would likely have to complete necessary academic requirements before he’s given scholarship consideration again.