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Lonnie Johnson commits to Kentucky Wildcats

UK scores one of the top JUCO defenders.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have landed one of their top secondary targets in 2017.

On Tuesday, three-star defensive back Lonnie Johnson announced his commitment to UK. He becomes the 19th pledge for UK after Joshua Paschal committed earlier on Tuesday.

A 6-3, 190-pound defensive back, Johnson picked UK over Georgia, West Virginia and Memphis. 247 ranks him as the second-best JUCO safety in the 2017 class, though he can play cornerback as well.

Johnson is coming off a visit to Georgia this past weekend after the Bulldogs offered him last week. Before that, UK was battling WVU for Johnson’s services after he had a great visit during the weekend of Dec. 3. The Georgia visit became the last hurdle UK had to overcome, and it looks like they did so.

Johnson made the call Tuesday night at a ceremony from West Side High School, where he originally was a highly sought-after four-star prospect in the 2014 class. He was committed to Ohio State at one time, but re-opened his recruitment last year and eventually gave his verbal commitment to P.J. Fleck and Western Michigan.

However, academics kept Johnson from entering college before he ended up at Garden City Community College in Kansas for the past two seasons, where he became one of the top JUCO safeties.

This is a big addition for UK’s secondary, which loses Marcus McWilson, J.D. Harmon, and Blake McClain to graduation. Johnson is also an early enrollee who will join UK in the spring. UK is expected to work Johnson at both safety and corner in the spring.

Here are some JUCO highlights of Johnson in action:


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