Northside senior linebacker Caleb Johnson has offers from schools across the Southeast, but recent developments could help him stay closer to home.

Northside-Columbus senior linebacker Caleb Johnson has college offers from schools across the Southeast, but recent developments could help him stay closer to home.

Johnson visited Georgia on July 21 and picked up an official offer from the Bulldogs on Wednesday. When asked about the team, Johnson expressed his interest in one day playing for the Bulldogs.

“It was great, Johnson said of his visit. “I’ve always dreamt about playing for my home state. Just to get that recognition and the probability of playing with them is nice.”

Johnson has dealt with the obstacle of getting better for the 2017 season while handling the attention of college recruiting. Johnson holds 13 FBS offers, including Auburn, Tennessee, Louisville, Florida and LSU.

Johnson said he does not have his top five programs yet or a timetable in mind for verbally committing.

“I’m just feeling it out right now,” Johnson said. “It’s just touch and go.”

Johnson was honest in saying that handling his work for Northside and for his life after high school hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been hectic,” Johnson said. “They’ve really got us working in here at Northside. We’re always in the weight room, running or doing something. We’re doing a lot to get better every day and beat everybody we can.”

While it’s been something new for Johnson to balance, Northside head coach Morgan Ingram said Johnson has handled it well.

“He’s a phenomenal player, but what’s impressed me the most is since the recruiting has gotten so hot and heavy, that has not affected his work ethic,” Ingram said. “He’s continued to work throughout and even work harder. He’s done a good job in the leadership role.”

Ingram said he looks to play Johnson more on offense this year, something Johnson has not done since he played running back and wide receiver in middle school. Johnson said his focus this offseason has been on his strength in hopes to make even greater strides.

Before much longer, Johnson’s recruitment will take a backseat to his play on the field. His Patriots are fresh off consecutive six-win seasons, and in Johnson’s eyes, it’s about time to take the next step.

“I’m revved up,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty serious around here right now. I can’t wait. We’re going to strive to be great, no doubt.”

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