DC’s Johnson commits to Ramblin’ Wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Dallas County star athlete Michael Johnson verbally committed to Georgia Tech this week. Johnson, a 6-7 tight end on the football team and center on the basketball team, plans to pursue an engineering degree.

“The thing about Michael is Michael has earned everything he’s got,” Dallas County football coach Rick Bush said. “He’s sporting a 4.3 GPA, he’s number one in his class and the kid is a joy to work with. He’s an outstanding kid.”

Johnson’s basketball coach, Bill Porter Jr., echoed those sentiments.

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“I’m very proud of Michael,” Porter said. “He wants to be an engineer, which is most important for his future.

As far as I know that’s one of the best schools in the country for that.

It’s great for him and great for Dallas County High School as well. I’m extremely happy for him.”

Johnson, who also visited Clemson, originally thought he’d wait before committing to a school.

However, in Georgia Tech, he found everything he was looking for.

“I just felt like that was the best place for me academically and athletically,” he said. “It seemed like a very good fit.”

His mother, Thomasene Johnson, said she is pleased that Michael picked a school that is not too far away. A typical mother, Thomasene said the fact that Michael will get to pursue engineering at a prestigious program like Tech is the most important thing.

“I’m proud of him because he’s worked hard for what he’s got,” she said. “He doesn’t mind working for what he wants.

He’s been working on it for years now. He’ll be able to get a quality education and play the sports that he loves.

We’re just very proud of him.”

Johnson will sign a football scholarship to play tight end for the Jackets and will walk-on for the basketball team. He will get a chance to compete against some of the most famous football and basketball schools in the nation.

“It’s going to be great, a wonderful experience,” he said. “I’ve always watched these teams play on TV.”

Johnson’s success is also a success for the school.

“It’s a big thing for us, (too),” Bush said. “That’s huge for us.

Anytime somebody gets a chance to go to a major college and play, you can’t help but be excited for him.”

As excited as Michael was to pick Tech, it was the Ramblin’ Wreck’s enthusiasm for him that made the difference.

“They were the first school to really come after me, other schools were taking their time,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to go ahead. I felt like they had everything I wanted and more.”

Though Johnson has verbally committed to Tech, college rules say he must wait until February to sign his scholarship papers.

In that time, Johnson is free to change his mind and choose another school.

However, Johnson said he can’t imagine a school offering a better fit of football, basketball and engineering than the Yellow Jackets.