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Sunday, January 6, 2013
Toby Johnson reacts to coaching hire

By Radi Nabulsi

The recruitment of one of Georgia’s top remaining targets had been in limbo for a while after recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner left the Bulldogs to take a position at Auburn. Juco defensive tackle Toby Johnson (College Park, Ga./Hutchinson Community College) maintained that the Bulldogs were still his top team, but everything hinged on who was hired to replace Garner, Johnson’s position coach and primary recruiter.

Late Friday evening DawgNation received word that Mississippi State defensive line coach Chris Wilson accepted an offer to join Mark Richt’s staff. The hire has not been finalized, but a formal announcement is expected by Tuesday. Wilson was Johnson’s primary recruiter at Mississippi State and will continue to try to bring the talented defender to Athens.

“I think it is a good hire,” Johnson said. “Coach Wilson has put a lot of people in the league. He is a good coach, and I have a good relationship with him.”

When asked what effect the hire had on his recruitment, Johnson allayed a lot of the fears the Georgia fans had when they heard Garner was leaving.

“It helps Georgia,” Johnson said. “It helps that I won’t have to start a new relationship with somebody that I didn’t know before. Me and Coach Wilson have a strong relationship, so it will be just like not missing a beat.”

His positive reaction to Georgia’s hire did not come at the expense of the Bulldogs in the SEC West.

“It doesn’t hurt Mississippi State’s chances with me,” Johnson said. “I’ll see what they do. I am still going to visit them like before. I am supposed to go to Mississippi State on Jan. 11 but I think I am going to hold off until they hire a new defensive line coach. I am going to Auburn on Jan. 18.”