Callaway High guard Tate Johnson is a high priority for Georgia Tech, and the three-star prospect for the 2020 class has clear interest in the Yellow Jackets. But Tech isn’t alone, and Johnson isn’t in a rush to make a decision on a commitment.
“All these schools, it’s kind of like dating,” Johnson said. “You’ve got all these pretty girls that want you and at the end of the day, you can only choose one. They’re all great schools, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to leave some out.”
(For the record, Johnson said that, as far as if there are actual pretty girls pursuing him, he said, “I wouldn’t necessarily be talking about me.”)
Florida State, Auburn and Missouri are three other schools that also are keenly recruiting him, he said.
“And a good bit from a few others and even some I don’t have offers from, I’m hearing from them,” he said.
Johnson, listed at 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, has taken two visits to Tech, and also visited the aforementioned other three as well as Michigan State. He said he has 25 scholarship offers in total. He also has plans to visit Louisville and Alabama and plans to be at Tech’s spring game.
Offensive-line coach Brent Key is leading the way in Tech’s recruitment, although Johnson said he hears from the whole staff. They’ve cast an enticing vision for Johnson, who is rated the No. 67 player in the state of Georgia and the No. 36 guard nationally (247Sports Composite).
“They think that I’m a phenomenal player, and they know that I’m a vocal leader,” Johnson said. “They want me to come and be a leader for them and lead their O-line for years to come and be their guy. They think I’m fully capable of doing that for them. And they tell me that Georgia Tech’s not a pushover anymore. They’re going to be serious competitors in this college football thing, and how great that would be to get there and help build and get to where they’re going.”
He is likewise impressed with Key.
“For sure, coach Key is a top, top O-line coach in the nation,” Johnson said. “He’s put so many guys in the (NFL). He knows how to develop offensive linemen.”
He said that he has liked getting to know the other members of the staff, as well.
“They all make you feel like you’re part of the family,” he said. “It’s definitely a big pro.”
Tech has six players committed for the 2020 class, including one offensive lineman, tackle Jordan Williams from Gainesville High. Johnson said he has been told that Tech has spots for five offensive linemen in the class.
“It’d definitely be a great privilege to be a player under (Key) and just get all his knowledge and see what he can turn me into,” Johnson said.
But, Johnson likes Auburn and Florida State, too, and is considering other options. (Among other things, a member of Auburn’s 2019 class, guard Keiondre Jones, is also from Callaway and a good friend of Johnson’s.) He said he plans to take official visits in the late spring and early summer.
“No rush,” he said.
He said that he is enjoying the process.
“It’s extremely fun,” he said, “but there’ll be some days at school, there’ll be three or four colleges texting you at the same time, three or four from each college, and it’s crazy.”
He said that team atmosphere and culture will determine his choice.
“I’ve got to be comfortable in a place where I can feel I’ll be able to grow as a player and man in the next three to five years,” he said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.