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UGA adds a late member of '13 class

Almost two weeks after National Signing Day, the twists and turns for the 2013 class continued Tuesday.

And this one was in Georgia's favor.

After days with widespread word that the Bulldogs were out of contention for Toby Johnson, the four-star junior college defensive lineman made a surprising pick during Tuesday's announcement and is signing with Georgia, according to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College coach Rion Rhoades.

Once his paperwork becomes official, Johnson will be the 33nd addition to Georgia's 2013 signing class. He'll have three years of eligibility to play two seasons at UGA.

Originally from Banneker High School and the Atlanta area, Johnson had already had the Bulldogs high on his list. He named UGA his leader after a visit two months ago, saying at the time that "It's going to take a lot to beat Georgia out."

But that appeared to change recently. Rumbles that Georgia had backed away led to reports that Auburn and Mississippi State had jumped to the forefront of Johnson's recruitment. This was accelerated by the fact that Rodney Garner, a coach prominent in his recruitment for UGA, switched to the staff at Auburn in December.

Nonetheless, Georgia still managed to land the 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive lineman, who is rated by 247Sports as the nation's eighth-best junior college prospect in this class.

Johnson at one point was the No. 1-rated JUCO player. But partial tear of his ACL required surgery that could limit Johnson in the upcoming season. The possibility of a redshirt year -- which he has available -- has been discussed with UGA.


UPDATE: UGA officially confirmed Johnson's signing Tuesday evening.

"We are thrilled that Toby has decided to become a Georgia Bulldog," UGA coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "We're looking forward to watching him compete for playing time this upcoming season."

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