Jermaine Johnson, one of the stars of the Netflix show “Last Chance U”, was ranked as the No. 1 JUCO prospect in the country and committed to play at Georgia this fall. Johnson is a four-star defensive end coming out of Independence Community College as he joins the vaunted UGA defense in Athens.
“There was no other place like it,” Johnson told 247Sports. “The moment I stepped on campus I knew. They treated me like family. They treated my family like family. There are no other coaches like them. It makes you want to go play for them and put your heart on the line for them.”
Johnson was originally a three-star recruit coming out of Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. According to 247 Sports, Johnson had interest from a number of top programs including Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Wisconsin but did not receive an offer.
Things were a lot different after Johnson spent two years at Indy working his way up to become the top JUCO transfer. In addition to Georgia, Johnson also had offers from a number of other top schools including Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, TCU, USC and Miami.
During a 2016 interview with Left Bench, Johnson talked about the recruiting process prior to joining Independence.
“I like when schools take the time to get personal and recruit me,” Johnson told Left Bench. “…God has a plan for everybody and every instance in your life. He is the one that is going to guide you and open doors for you.”
Johnson Is Expected to Make an Immediate Impact With UGA in 2019
Johnson is expected to contribute at Georgia right away this season. 247 Sports’ Chris Hummer named Johnson as the new player most likely to be an “instant impact contributor” for the Bulldogs.
You could put Miami wide receiver transfer Lawrence Cager here or Tennessee tight end transfer Eli Wolf. A lot of people would likely also list Nolan Smith, the No. 1 overall player in the country last cycle. But Johnson, himself the top-ranked JUCO player, is the best bet to see the field early and often for the Bulldogs. Johnson is an ideal JACK linebacker in Georgia’s system, a beast off the edge who’s already used to the physicality of the college game.
By the time the fall comes around Johnson will likely be a household name. He should be one of the stars of “Last Chance U” this year as the show returns to Independence C.C.
Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart Described Johnson as Making “Superman Plays” in the Offseason
Johnson already made his presence felt at Georgia this offseason. Smart noted Johnson was one of the newcomers making “Superman plays” on the field.
“Jermaine has [made] the same [plays],” Smart explained to Saturday Down South. “We call them ‘Superman plays,’ where you look out there and say ‘Who is that guy? Who is that jersey number?’ But then they’re lost some too. I’m fired up to coach those two guys because I’m excited about what they’re going to do to the guys in front of them from a pushing standpoint.”