Wide-receiver James Johnson left
the Georgia Tech team before Spring Ball began this year. This is the second
time in his career that he has quit the Yellow Jackets. The last time this occurred,
Head Coach Paul Johnson talked him into returning to the team.
Johnson has been injured and that
could be a reason that he is not returning for his senior year. Johnson struggled
with a knee injury during his junior season last year. A spokesman for the team
stated tendonitis in the knee as a reason for his departure.
Johnson is one of the leading
pass catchers in Georgia Tech history with 78 catches, 1240 yards and 9
touchdowns over three years. His sophomore year was his most productive with
608 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Why do kids quit football before
their eligibility is up? Sometimes it is stated that it is time to move on with
their lives. This is the second possibility with Johnson. Do these players not
understand how lucky they are to be able to play college football and have the
chance to play in the NFL? For anyone over the age of 26, it becomes obvious quickly
that earning a million dollars a year isn’t a cakewalk and playing a game for a
living is the closest thing.
Maybe Johnson wasn’t going to be
a top pick with his current stats but with a senior year like his sophomore
year, he would have been drafted and paid well.
In Columbus Ohio
a defensive end by the name of Alex Barrow did the same thing this past season.
He didn’t transfer. He didn’t declare for the NFL, he just left. Now Borrow
doesn’t have NFL stats and he would have to dominate his senior year to get
drafted. But Buckeye Head Coach Jim Tressel favors seniors and Barrow would get
into the rotation in addition to having two camps to prove that he belonged on
The next player that leaves a college
program without a very good reason should ask someone 10 years older if they
would do the same thing. I am sure that the answer would be “Stay on the team!”