USC coach Will Muschamp reached back into Georgia Monday for his latest commitment for the 2021 class. SAF Jayden Johnson (6-2 195) of Cedartown committed to Muschamp earlier this month but went public with the pledge this afternoon. He’s the 8th commitment for the 2021 class and the 4th from Georgia. The Gamecocks now have a total of 11 initial counters for the 2021 class.
Johnson picked the Gamecocks from a short list that also included Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He also held offers from Virginia, Kansas State, East Carolina, Memphis, Kansas, Kentucky and Ole Miss.
“The relationship with the coaches, and it wasn’t always abouit football, it was abut life and I felt like it was the best fit for me,” Johnson said. “They text me everyday, we talk all the time, I felt like I could be myself, they are great people.”
Johnson is a multi-position player who is used a lot at quarterback for the Bulldogs, but the Gamecocks like him for their secondary, and he could end up anywhere back there.
“They plan on using me in the secondary, Nickel, Dime, corner or safety,” Johson said. “Coach (Travaris) Robinson was like, I like your film, you would be a great fit here and would help us out a lot.”
Johnson developed into one of the top players in a program that annually sends talent to major college programs.
“Jayden was a three year starter for me,” said former Cedartown coach Doyle Kelly who retired in January. “His freshman year we played him at free safety. His sophomore year we moved him to corner and he became a lock down corner and did a super job for us that year. He’s very athletic. He’s a kid that can play everywhere. Last year ur quarterback got hurt the first game of the season and the third game Jayden came to us and said, if you need me to move to quarterback I will. We moved him to quarterback and every game he got a little better. Jayden was one of those kids that never came off the field. The kid can play anywhere. He’s also a heck of a basketball player and a super kid with a great family.”
Kelly said Johnson can also play receiver, but he sees him giving the Gamecocks that rangy safety at the backend of the defense.
“He’s got that long reach, so I’m sure he’s going to make a heck of a free safety for the Gamecocks,” Kelly said. “He was one who was off the radar and I told him he has the tools, and he just bought in and got better every year.”
Johnson has not yet visited USC, but he will as soon as he can. He does plan to sign in December and is considering graduating early. As for his recruiting, he’s not shutting it down entirely despite the commitment.
“Right now, this is what stood out to me, but I’m still keeping an open mind,” he said adding that he’ll likely continue to talk with his recruiters from Georgia Tech, Arkansa and Oklahoma.
In the 247Sports Composite, Johnson is rated as a three-star prospect. He’s ranked as the #36 athlete in the country and the #39 prospect in Georgia’s 2021 class.