- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
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Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro) is making up for lost time. The 5-foot-11, 172-pound athlete sat out his junior season after transferring from Treutlen High School.
His unofficial times of 4.25 and 4.28 in the 40-yard dash, and a 10-foot, 6-inch broad jump at the Mark Richt Camp put Johnson on the Georgia coaching staff's radar. With a standout camp performance at wide reciever and defensive back, Johnson was rewarded with a scholarship offer as a receiver. He did not wait long to accept.
"Coach Mark Richt offered me and I cried and said I was ready to be a UGA Bulldog," Johnson said. "I said it was my biggest dream and he asked if I spoke to my family, and I said that is what they want me to do. He said, 'Welcome to the family,' and gave me a big hug."
After an impressive performance at the Charlotte NFTC, along with taking first in the Class AA 100-meter and second in the 200-meter dash at the GHSA State Track Championships, Johnson piqued the interest of the Georgia coaching staff and was invited to Saturday's camp in Athens. Johnson rotated between defensive back and wide receiver during 1-on-1 drills, and earned the offer at wideout after catching a deep pass in front of the coaches.
"This is what I have always wanted to do," Johnson said. "I always wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog. This is the greatest feeling in the world. I love receiver and it is my favorite position, but if they want to put me at corner I will play there, too. Wherever they want me to play, I will do it."
Georgia had some help recruiting on Saturday, including aid from its highest-rated commitment in the 2013 class.
"Shaq Wiggins and a bunch of other commits came up and told me to join the family," Johnson said. "Shaq was really the main one. He kept messing with me the entire day."
Despite not being able to play last season, Johnson still spent his junior season practicing with the team. He admitted he was surprised his recruitment advanced at the rate it did.
"When I did not play last year, I never thought I would be at this point right now," Johnson said. "I kept working hard, though, and it all worked out for me."
Johnson is commitment No. 19 and he replaces Kyrin Priester (Snellville, Ga./Brookwood) as the fourth wide receiver for the Bulldogs. Priester decommitted from Georgia Thursday night, and in Johnson the Bulldogs have added a deep threat to the 2013 class.
1dMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne