The largest Georgia recruiting class under coach Mark Richt just got even bigger.
Junior college defensive lineman Toby Johnson signed a letter of intent Tuesday with the Bulldogs, a late addition that was considered a surprise by many.
Johnson played at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.
“My decision was pretty much where I wanted to go all along,” Johnson said. “I had to take the visits before I made my decision. Georgia was the place where I wanted to be.”
The 6-foot-4 1/2, 310-pound Johnson went to Banneker High School in College Park. He said Georgia recruited him to play defensive end after two seasons at Hutchinson.
“We are thrilled that Toby has decided to become a Georgia Bulldog,” Richt said in a statement released Tuesday evening.
Johnson becomes the 33rd player in this Georgia signing class, its most since 33 in 1984.
Johnson, the nation’s No. 8-rated junior college prospect by Rivals.com, had 37 tackles, including six and a half for loss with three sacks and 12 quarterback hurries last season.
“I can be a player to come in and play right away,” he said. “A player that can cause havoc on the quarterback and just play behind the line of scrimmage.”
The four-star rated prospect by Scout.com picked Georgia over Auburn, Mississippi State and Oklahoma.
“They were with me all along,” Johnson said of Georgia. “People just put out false information about what was going on.”
Johnson said he spoke to Richt and defensive line coach Chris Wilson on Monday night to inform them of his decision.
Johnson underwent reconstructive ACL and MCL surgery on Nov. 28, but said he expects to still be ready to play for the first game.
“We’re looking forward to watching him compete for playing time this upcoming season,” Richt said.
Johnson needs to finish up work in the classroom first to become academically eligible, he said.
“I still got a little work to do,” he said.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer