NCF On The Trail: Rico Johnson

Georgia lands commit No. 17

January, 20, 2014
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Georgia landed its 17th commitment on Monday afternoon as three-star wide receiver Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Atlanta Sports Academy) gave his verbal pledge to the Bulldogs.

Johnson originally signed with Georgia for its 2013 class, but after failing to qualify, he chose to attend Atlanta Sports Academy -- a local prep school. He announced his decision to commit on Twitter.

"My decision is made this will be my coach for the nxt 4 years….,” his tweet read.

The tweet also included a photo of Johnson and Georgia head coach Mark Richt that was posted on Instagram with the caption: “My decision is made this will be my coach for the nxt 4 years and again I wanna thanks to all the college coaches who was willing to offer me but at the end of the day there's no place like home #GoDawgs !”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete, who also held offers from Maryland, West Virginia, Marshall and Middle Tennessee, is expected to help Georgia offensively and also on special teams.

"Johnson is a smooth, versatile athlete that is an ideal spread offense playmaker,” Johnson’s scouting report Insider read coming out of high school. "He could play on the outside, in the slot and also in the backfield as a scatback. In the backfield is where he is most dangerous at this time."

With the addition of Johnson, the Bulldogs now have 17 verbal commitments including nine ranked in the ESPN 300.

Signee Johnson fails to qualify

July, 22, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Rico Johnson finally learned his fate on Monday.

The three-star receiver from Swainsboro (Ga.) High School announced on his Twitter account that he failed to meet NCAA eligibility standards and will not enroll at Georgia with his fellow 2013 signing classmates.

Johnson completed two online courses this summer in an effort to become eligible, but it was apparently not enough.

“Unfortunately NCAA didn't take my two online classes but I'm still rockin [with] DawgNation to the death of me. See [y’all] at the top!” Johnson tweeted.

Now Johnson will wait to learn whether he can enroll at a prep school this fall and potentially enroll at Georgia or another program next year or whether he must attend junior college.

Johnson was the last member of Georgia's 33-man signing class who was waiting to learn his NCAA fate.

Mark Richt’s coaching staff knew on signing day that Devondre Seymour (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) was not going to qualify with this class. The four-star offensive lineman has since announced that he will attend Hinds Community College and attempt to enroll at Georgia in 2015.

Receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) and defensive back Kennar Johnson (Clermont, Fla./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) arrived on campus late in the summer -- after the bulk of Georgia’s other signees -- leaving Rico Johnson as the only player with an undetermined status.

He was one of Georgia’s six 2013 receiver signees, led by No. 1 junior college wideout Jonathon Rumph (Cayce, S.C./Holmes Community College) and versatile ESPN 150 selection Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek) -- both of whom enrolled in January.

Weekend rewind: Georgia 

December, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia coaching staff was on the road Friday, as usual, checking in on commits and targets alike. In what had to the most fortuitous turn of events of the day, tight ends coach John Lilly and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti just happened to be stopping by Auburn (Ala.) High School right after the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker, Reuben Foster, decommitted from Auburn University. Both coaches met with Foster, who reopened his recruitment, citing reports that his mentor Trooper Taylor had been let go at Auburn.

Later that night, another coach would also prove lucky as defensive line coach Rodney Garner was on hand to congratulate Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) after the top-ranked defensive tackle won the chance to play for the Georgia Class A championship.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon were on hand to see the Bulldogs’ top tailback target, Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), win his semifinal game as well. Alabama’s Kirby Smart was also there, and the battle for Kamara is still neck and neck.

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The commitment of juco wideout Jonathon Rumph (Cayce, S.C./Holmes Community College) to Georgia is a big addition to the Bulldogs’ receiving corps -- pun intended. Georgia does not have a returning receiver on the team now or committed in the Class of 2013 who resembles the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Rumph. He is a large target -- something this recruiting class was missing.

As it stands, Georgia has commitments from wide receivers Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln), Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler), and Rico Johnson (Swainsboro, Ga./Swainsboro). Athletes Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C./ Goose Creek) and J.J. Green (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County) will play multiple roles on the offense as well, including slot receiver. Aside from LeMay, who stands at 6-2, this group of receivers is not known for size, but rather speed and technique. Rumph will be the wideout who creates the most mismatches with opposing corners. He is not fast like Davis or Terry, but in a red-zone situation he will present a nice option.

Georgia signed only one wide receiver in the Class of 2012, and Blake Tibbs redshirted this season. The coaching staff knew it would have to bring in some playmakers with the next class.

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Juco WR Rumph is UGA commit No. 29

November, 21, 2012
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A day after adding a cornerback with the size coveted by secondary coach Scott Lakatos, the Georgia Bulldogs gained a commitment from a wide receiver with the size any college program would love to have. Juco wideout Jonathon Rumph, at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, announced his commitment to Georgia tonight at Spires Recreation Center in Cayce, S.C., his childhood stomping grounds.

“I chose Georgia because I love the atmosphere there, the fans, and how the coaching staff is filled with real people,” Rumph said. “They have my best interests at heart for me in regards to my career and my path to becoming a quality young man.”

Rumph chose Georgia over offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas Tech, among others. In nine games this season, Rumph caught 44 passes for 575 yards and 3 touchdowns.

With the upcoming graduation of Georgia’s Marlon Brown and Tavarres King, Rumph sees an opportunity to make an impact in Athens.

“The situation at receiver is such that I feel I can come in, work my way up the depth chart, and have a good chance at earning a starting position,” Rumph said. “With my size, the pro-style scheme at Georgia is a perfect fit because it puts me in 1-on-1 matchups where I can be a big help to the offense.”

He also likes the potential for success at Georgia.

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