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June 16, 2012
Richt gets No. 19
Swainsboro wide receiver Rico Johnson does everything fast.
He won the GHSA AA State Championship in the 100m with a time of 11.05, and on Saturday at Mark Richt Mini Camp, Johnson ran a jaw-dropping 4.28 in the 40-yard dash in front of dozens of coaches and media members.
His first reward was an offer from Marshall, and his second, after opening even more eyes in receivers versus defensive backs drills, was an offer from Georgia.
The second offer was one that he promptly accepted.
"It was a great day," said Johnson. "Coach Richt came over and asked me, "How would you like to be a Bulldog?' I smiled big and started crying a little bit, and said that I would be happy to be a Bulldog and became one right there."
The offer from Georgia wasn't something that Johnson had recently starting shooting for either.
He grew up wanting to wear the Red and Black.
"I grew up following Georgia and liking Georgia," said Johnson. "I've always wanted to be a Bulldog, so today was a big day."
Catching the attention of coaches that see elite talent on a regular basis isn't easy, but the sleeper prospect did a few things on Saturday to draw attention to himself.
"I had a really good day overall honestly," said Johnson. "I a great 40, and I did really well in my drills. I had a great broad jump, too. Then when we went 1on1, I was at defensive back and Coach (Mike) Bobo came over and told me to play some receiver. So I went over there and ran a "go" route, and then they offered me."
Johnson's name first started being mentioned after a strong showing at the Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp in Charlotte, but the interest really picked up after his state championship run in May.
"After the Nike camp, that is when folks started talking about me, but then thinks started getting really active after I won the state championship in track," said Johnson. "That was when schools really started paying attention."
The Swainsboro standout understand that his name isn't one of the household variety just yet, but he expects to keep picking up steam in the coming months.
"I'm a fast guy and I really like being physical," said Johnson. "All I can say right now is for people to watch out for Rico Johnson out of Swainsboro High School."