Posted: 8:57 pm Sunday, December 9th, 2012

American Heritage OT Roderick Johnson re-commits to Florida 

By Matt Porter

“Stick with it this time,” one of Roderick Johnson’s Facebook friends needled him Sunday night.

The friend was commenting on a status Johnson posted announcing his return to the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class.

Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive tackle rated three stars by several recruiting sites, originally committed to Florida in March, but dropped his commitment after the August resignation of recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill.

Florida and Florida State visited Johnson last week, but it was an in-home visit with Gators offensive line coach Tim Davis that made a big impression on Johnson.

“He told me a lot about the program,” Johnson said. “The early playing time, how I’m different from the others. We had a good time. My education was a big factor — my parents want me to be successful on the field and off — so we agreed that UF was the school.”

Johnson is the fourth Stallions player this weekend to commit to an FBS school. On Sunday, four-star running back Greg Bryant committed to Notre Dame, while two-star safety Xavier Swinton gave his pledge to Miami of Ohio. Another two-star safety, Darrion Richardson, committed to Southern Methodist late Sunday night.

One factor that pushed Johnson to Gainesville, rather than Tallahassee: uncertainty over FSU’s coaching staff. Seminoles offensive coordinator James Coley has been linked to the open head coaching job at FIU. Head coach Jimbo Fisher’s name has come up for several jobs. Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops left in November to become Kentucky’s head coach.

“The whole situation is crazy,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who also considered West Virginia until recently, becomes the fifth offensive line commitment in Florida’s 2013 class, according to ESPN. UF currently has the top-ranked recruiting class in the country.