ESPN reveals which Georgia player it’s most excited to watch this spring
Georgia football brought in the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class in the 2019 recruiting cycle. It also brings back a number of intriguing players from last year’s team, including the likes of running back Zamir White.
And with Georgia’s spring practice starting on March 19, there are a number of players to watch who could make a big impression. But ESPN’s Chris Low has his eye on a player most Georgia fans probably haven’t thought much about. It’s outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson. He was the No. 1 JUCO prospect in the country and has a chance to greatly help boost Georgia’s sack numbers.
Johnson is one of three junior college players to sign with Georgia in 2019, as the Bulldogs brought in cornerback DJ Daniel and defensive tackle Tramel Walthour.
“Georgia coach Kirby Smart wanted more speed rushing the passer off the edge, especially with D’Andre Walker gone, and that’s what makes junior college newcomer Johnson such a commodity,” Low wrote. “The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Johnson was one of the most coveted junior college prospects in the country last year and has been on campus since December. He doesn’t need much of an introduction, as most fans know him from the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” Johnson, originally from Minnesota, morphed into a star at Independence (Kansas) Community College and has the combination of speed and strength that coaches love. He’s an outside linebacker in Georgia’s scheme, but could also line up some at end depending on the situation. Bottom line: He can go get the quarterback, something the Dawgs need after finishing last in the SEC in sacks (20) during the 2018 regular season.”
Johnson isn’t the only big-time pass rusher Georgia brought in, as the Bulldogs also signed Nolan Smith. Like Johnson, Smith enrolled early at Georgia and will participate in spring practice drills. Smith was the No. 1 overall recruit for the 2019 recruiting cycle using the 247Sports composite rankings.
Sacks are also an area where Georgia can greatly improve. Clemson finished with 54.0 sacks last season, the most in the country. Alabama had 45.0 sacks, which almost doubles 24.0 sacks that accrued over the course of the season. The Bulldogs could also get more pass rushing production from young players like Brenton Cox, Azeez Ojulari or Adam Anderson in that edge rusher role.
Johnson isn’t the only one with Georgia ties to make the list. Former quarterbacks Justin Fields and Jacob Eason both made the list for Ohio State and Washington, respectively. Eason sat out all of 2018 after transferring to Washington, while Fields was granted immediate eligibility to play at Ohio State.
Georgia football fans will get their first chance to watch Johnson at the G-Day game, which is set for April 20. Kickoff for the spring scrimmage is set for 2 p.m. ET and will air on the SEC Network.
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