Former Miami LB Eddie Johnson signs with Hinds Community College

Former Miami LB Eddie Johnson signs with Hinds Community College

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]iami linebacker Eddie Johnson has signed a letter of intent to play at Hinds (Miss.) Community College.

Eddie Johnson (44) led Miami with 7.5 tackles for loss in 2012.

Eddie Johnson (44) led Miami with 7.5 tackles for loss in 2012.

Johnson missed two games last season due to suspension and was suspended from the team again in February.

Though he was was not enrolled at Miami this spring, Al Golden said he was “hopeful” he would play for the Canes in 2013.

Hinds coach Gene Murphy told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he was not familiar with any off-field issues Johnson had at Miami and that he hasn’t spoken to Golden about him.

“Like many kids who come into a junior college situation, this is a second chance,” Murphy said. “It’s all about what he’s going to do with it.”

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Johnson was one of the Hurricanes’ defensive leaders. He played in 10 games, starting eight. He finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles and made a team-leading 7.5 tackles for loss.

He had a season-high 11 tackles in game 10 vs. Virginia Tech, but did not travel with the team to Virginia the following week. He made five tackles against South Florida the next week, but did not play in the season finale against Duke.

In Johnson’s absence, Denzel Perryman moved to outside linebacker with Raphael Kirby and Jimmy Gaines battling to start at the middle linebacker spot manned by Perryman last season. Devante Bond, a junior college transfer who made 17 sacks at Sierra (Calif.) College last season, is also an option.

A 3-star recruit out of North Atlanta (Ga.) High School in 2011, Johnson originally committed to Louisville and later to Central Florida before eventually signing with Miami. He played his first three seasons of high school ball in Selma, Ala. before moving to Atlanta before his senior year to play for North Atlanta, where his legal guardian Brian Montgomery was head coach.

The 6-1, 230-pound Johnson was a big hitter for the Hurricanes, and was named to CBSSports.com’s All-Freshman team. He finished second in the voting for ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year by the league’s coaches.

“I think he’s a great player and obviously he plays sideline to sideline,” Murphy said. “He knows how to play the game.”

Photo credit: Elise Amendola / AP

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