published Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Chattahochee defensive back Will Johnson commits to UTC Mocs

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team got some good news on Christmas when Chattahoochee (Ga.) High School all-state defensive back Will Johnson committed to the Mocs.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Johnson, the Mocs' sixth commitment, said he informed defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey, who recruits the Atlanta area, on Sunday.

"I had already made my decision a few days prior, but I figured it's Christmas so why not go ahead and do it," said Johnson, who didn't begin playing high school football until his junior year.

Johnson had offers from Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State and other Football Bowl Subdivision schools, as well as several Southern Conference programs. After a solid junior season during which he helped Chattahoochee go undefeated and win the Class AAAA state championship, Johnson turned a lot of heads at Vanderbilt's camp last summer when he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash.

After visiting UTC earlier this month, Johnson said he came away very impressed.

"I basically just bonded with the players immediately and I was up there and it felt like home to me," he said. "From an educational standpoint, the school's outstanding and that was a big part of my decision. Also, the team's style fits me and what I like to do. I'll definitely have an opportunity to compete for some early playing time, which is all you can ask for.

"Even if football wasn't a part of my decision, I could see myself there for the next four years of my life."

Johnson was voted to the Georgia Sports Writers Association's Class AAAA second-team defense, and he wasn't the only UTC commitment to earn a spot on a GSWA all-state team.

Linebacker Alex Kirby of Class AA state champion Calhoun High School was named the Defensive Player of the year and North Gwinnett High School defensive end Justin Alabi made the Class AAAAA second-team defense.

Contact John Frierson at or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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