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February 19, 2013

Johnson selects Georgia


The fourth member of the 2012 Salt City Bowl champion Hutchinson Community College football team has chosen a Southeastern Conference school to play for next year.

Four-star defensive tackle Toby Johnson signed a national letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia next season. He made the announcement at a news conference in the Humiston Athletic Center at the Sports Arena.

Johnson brings the number of total signees from the 2012 Blue Dragon signing class to 20 and he is the ninth BCS signee. In his six seasons, head coach Rion Rhoades has had 52 players sign Division I letters, including 24 into BCS programs. A total of 108 players have signed with four-year programs under Rhoades.

Johnson becomes the first Blue Dragon to sign with Georgia in 17 years. Linebacker Rich Robich was the last HCC player to sign with the Bulldogs.

Johnson, a 6-foot-4 1/2 inch, 305-pound defensive tackle from College Park, Ga., narrowed his choices of more than 35 schools to Georgia, Auburn, Mississippi State and Oklahoma.

He joins teammates Kenny Flowers, Devonte Danzey and Ben Bradley in the SEC. Those three players all signed with Auburn on National Letter of Intent Day on Feb. 6.

Even before the season started, Johnson was being talked about. He entered the 2012 season as the No. 1 overall junior college recruit in the nation.

That meant opposing offenses were paying attention, too. Johnson normally drew double teams and still put together a solid season, missing the final 2 1/2 games because of injuries.

Johnson finished with 37 total tackles, 12 were unassisted. He had 6.5 tackles for loss, including three quarterback sacks. He also had four passes defensed. Johnson had a career-high seven total tackles against Dodge City on Sept. 15. He had six tackles each against Air Force Prep and Independence.

For his career, Johnson had 87 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks. He also had nine passes broken up, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and two blocked kicks.

Other BCS signings by current Blue Dragon players are:
+ Linebacker Kenny Flowers (Lilburn, GA) - Auburn University

+ Offensive Lineman Devonte Danzey (Tampa, FL) - Auburn University

+ Defensive Tackle Ben Bradley (Norcross, GA) - Auburn University

+ Linebacker Antonio Longino (East Cleveland, Ohio) - Arizona State University
+ Receiver/quarterback Kody Cook (Louisburg, KS - Kansas State University
+ Defensive end Demetrius Alston (Norcross, GA) - Texas Tech University
+ Kicker Michael Mesh (Hutchinson) - Kansas University
+ Linebacker DeVondre Campbell (Fort Myers, FL) - University of Minnesota

Those Blue Dragons signing with non-BCS programs are:
+ Running back Terrell Lane (Norton) - East Carolina University
+ Wide receiver Antonio Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) - Troy University
+ Cornerback Keion Payne (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Troy University
+ Offensive lineman Solomon Normore (Wichita) - University of New Mexico
+ Defensive tackle Robbie Zimmerman (Sumter, SC) - University of Toledo

Those signing with FCS programs are:
+ Reciever Miguel Johns (Newton) - Indiana State University

Those signing with NCAA Division II/NAIA programs are:
+ Tight end Connor Thierolf (Marion) - Emporia State University
+ Fullback Braden Eck (Garden Plain) - Fort Hays State University
+ Defensive end Adrian Mack (Waycross, GA) - University of Central Oklahoma
+ Running back LaQua Mayes (Rose Hill) - Presbyterian College
+ Offensive lineman Williams Thacker (Hutchinson) - McPherson College

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