Johnson, a junior defensive end from Hawkinsville, proved it in Saturday’s G-Day game. Charles Johnson had a team-high five tackles and two sacks for the black team.
“I think it’s my time to step up and try to be a leader,” Johnson said.
Johnson practiced this spring with much more consistency than he displayed in his first two seasons, defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said.
“He plays harder on a more consistent basis, and it’s showing,” Martinez said. “He’s always been talented. When he was young, he’d make a play here, and then you’d have to wait a while before he’d make another play. Now, even when he doesn’t make a play, he’s affecting a play.”
Johnson, who has 29 tackles and five sacks in two seasons, is in the best condition of his collegiate career, Coach Mark Richt said. He was named the team’s best all-around defensive player this spring.
“Charles has really done a great job, especially in the scrimmages,” Richt said. “He gets a little more excited for the scrimmages. If he can maintain the condition that he’s in and come back with as good or even a better attitude than he has right now, he’s going to be very difficult to block. He’s going to be a force for us.”
Another defensive lineman, redshirt freshman Kade Weston, also had a good day. Weston led the red team with eight tackles, one more than linebacker Tommy Watkins of Statesboro and safety Donavon Baldwin.