When the Netflix series “Last Chance U” profiled the Independence (Kan.) Community College football team in 2018, Jermaine Johnson already was a big name in recruiting.
He was named the nation’s No. 1-ranked junior college player by 247Sports.com. The 6-5, 240-pound Eden Prairie product said on the show that “I do better when I’m under great expectations.”
Georgia beat out Johnson’s home state team, the Gophers — as well as USC, Texas, Oregon et al — for the pass-rushing talent. He recorded 12½ sacks in 20 junior college games, but he’s come a long way from high school.
Not only was Johnson 2 inches and 30 pounds smaller his senior year at Eden Prairie, but his academic issues scared off several programs, including Minnesota. Johnson had no FBS scholarship offers, but now he’s competing to start at linebacker in the SEC.
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart told reporters recently that Johnson showed burst and acceleration off the edge in a scrimmage this week but “needs to continue to improve.”