Which SEC Team Holds Edge for Stud JUCO DT Toby Johnson?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 12, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Toby Johnson is an elite JUCO defensive tackle recruit who has yet to sign his National Letter of Intent, to any program.

He has been one of the more sought-after JUCO recruits throughout the course of the 2013 recruiting cycle, but his decision process has gone well past national signing day at this point.

The reasoning for the delay? For all intents and purposes it appears to be due to the fact that Johnson wants to take an official visit to Mississippi State, and he has one scheduled for February 15 according to 247Sports

This visit could end up being huge for Johnson, but so could the previous official visit that he took to Auburn earlier in the month. Here's what he had to say about his Auburn visit, per Radi Nabulsi and Kipp Adams of ESPN.com:

"With the coaching staff they've brought in, I think they're really going to turn it around there," Johnson said. He added that his choice would come down to Georgia, Auburn, MSU and Oklahoma. 

That said, Nabulsi and Adam's report also stated that Johnson considered Georgia to be his leader before the Auburn visit, and nothing has appeared to have changed.

Does that mean Georgia holds the edge for the talented JUCO defensive tackle?

Much of this may come down to whether or not Georgia has room for Johnson or wants to use a spot on him. Per Nabusli and Adam's report, there appears to be a spot.

After missing on four signing day targets -- Alvin KamaraMontravius AdamsReuben Foster andLaremy Tunsil -- the Bulldogs likely have a spot open. 

“I think it’s going to come down to a discussion between Chris [Wilson, new defensive line coach] and myself and how we want to move forward with that, because if you take one now, then it’s going to count for next year, too,” Grantham said. “So I think that’s yet to be determined. We’ll just have to see how it plays out over the next little bit and do what’s best for us.” 

Adams, the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle, chose Auburn early Wednesday morning. That and the indication of Wilson having a say in the possibility of using a scholarship soon could indicate a renewed interest in Johnson.

If Georgia reciprocates the interest that Johnson obviously had a few weeks ago, the Bulldogs and Johnson would be a good match.

Johnson has all the intangibles to be a difference-maker for Georgia as a 0-tech (nose tackle). He has great size at 6'4.5'', 310 pounds, and he runs a 4.89 40 according to 247Sports. He'll be big and strong enough to control both A-gaps at the line of scrimmage, but his quickness will allow him to make plays in the running game and even be an adequate pass-rusher.

Also, it's worth noting that Rusty Mansell of 247Sports Tweeted that Johnson informed him that he plans to decide on February 19:

Considering the timeline, Mississippi State could really shake things up with a good official visit, but for all intents and purposes, Johnson seems like Georgia's recruit to lose. 

If Georgia decides it has room for Johnson (frankly, he's a recruit that you make room for in my opinion), the Bulldogs should have edge on February 19.

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