Georgia Tech has landed a premier offensive lineman from Florida’s class of 2016, and he’s the younger brother of a current NFL lineman.
Jordan Johnson of Jacksonville’s Ed White High School announced his decision to play for the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound guard plans to graduate in December and enroll early at Tech. Johnson is the younger brother of Kaleb Johnson, who signed with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens this offseason as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers.
Johnson marks Georgia Tech’s sixth commitment for the 2016 class and the second offensive lineman. Trysten Hill (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) of Live Oak (Fla.) Suwannee is the other.
Johnson chose the Jackets despite not having been on campus since the Jackets were recruiting Kaleb five years ago. Jordan said his relationship with the Jackets didn’t require a recent visit because the staff visited him in Jacksonville regularly during the season and in the spring.
Florida’s No. 77 overall prospect for 2016 made his decision to commit after an inspirational conversation with his mentor, Donavon Davis, who served as an assistant on Ed White’s staff. Johnson chose the Jackets over offers from LSU, Miami, Ohio State and Rutgers – his brother’s alma mater – among others.
“We were talking and he was telling me I’m turning into a man now and I need to make a decision,” Johnson told the AJC. “He left the (school choice) up to me.”
Johnson said he chose Tech – the Jackets were his first offer – because he wants to major in either computer engineering or computer science. He also liked the opportunity to live in Atlanta. His goal is to arrive on campus in January as an early enrollee, make an impression in the spring and earn playing time as a true freshman.
“They haven’t told me anything (about playing time),” Johnson said. “But I definitely don’t want to be sitting on the bench. I’ll be trying to compete for a starting position.”
Davis, who also coached Kaleb, believes Jordan can go beyond making an immediate impact in the Jackets’ offense.
“He could be an All-American right away,” Davis said. “Playing high school football in Jacksonville, he’s already competed with a lot of players at one of the top schools in the ACC, Florida State. (DeMarcus Walker, Reggie Northrup and Derrick Mitchell are all FSU players from Jacksonville.) They may have on a different uniform now, but Jordan can line up against them and he won’t be scared.”
For Ed White, Jordan is a four-sport athlete who competes in wrestling, track (shot put) and tennis.
“I’ve been playing tennis since kindergarten,” Jordan said. “I kind of sneak up on (my opponents) because they don’t expect a 6-foot-3 guy to be able to play tennis.”
To play tennis effectively, great footwork is a plus. Davis says that not only does Johnson have that, but he’s more advanced as a prospect than Kaleb was coming out of high school. Kaleb became a starter at Rutgers in the second game of his freshman season.
“The thing with Kaleb is we only played in the wing-T,’ Davis said. “Kaleb was great in that scheme but we never really put emphasis on pass protection. So we didn’t work on that with him until we got to camps in the offseason. When Jordan got here, we started using a more pro-style type offense and lined up in the spread shotgun, so he practiced all kinds of techniques.
“His footwork is impeccable – almost too fast. He’s well rounded and more college-ready (than Kaleb). He can run block, play in the wing-T, run pull, get to the next level and he can pass block. ”
Johnson said he’s firm in his commitment to the Jackets and that Tech will be his only official visit. He’s not yet sure when he’ll take that visit. In the meantime, his focus is on his senior season.
UPDATE: Johnson told the AJC on Wednesday night that he will visit Tech within the next two weeks.
— By Adam Krohn, Special to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution