Muschamp owns up to not offering Johnson


Will Muschamp couldn’t contain it any longer.

He likely had this feeling in 2014, but a second time was too much to bear.

After Kentucky wide receiver Garrett Johnson torched his defense once again Thursday, the Auburn D-coordinator and former Florida coach had a word with the Orlando product after the game.

“I screwed up (your recruitment),” Muschamp told Johnson. “I’m a dumbass. You’re a hell of a player.”

Johnson, a true sophomore, set career highs in receptions (nine) and yards (160) on Thursday. Last year against UF and Muschamp, Johnson had 154 yards receiving and two touchdowns on six catches.

While Muschamp is now 2-0 facing Johnson, he’s left both games knowing he shouldn’t have passed on him.

Garrett Johnson wanted an offer from Florida as a 2014 recruit. (Photo by 247Sports)

Johnson was a three-star recruit from West Orange in the 2014 recruiting cycle. He worked out for Florida twice at summer camp and Friday Night Lights.

Johnson would’ve committed to the Gators on the spot, but when they still hadn’t offered him following FNL, he pledged to Kentucky in late July 2013.

But what made Muschamp’s decision not to pursue Johnson worse was that he later accepted Ryan Sousa’s commitment.

He was from the same city and on the same 7-on-7 team as Johnson. Sousa also camped at UF the same day as him.

And yet, Muschamp and his staff chose to take Sousa. Johnson currently leads Kentucky in receiving and has 50 receptions for 709 yards through a season and a half.

Sousa, who redshirted last year, has played in two games this season without any catches or stats.

There’s no denying Muschamp is a great recruiter. He signed top-10 classes at Florida and left Jim McElwain with talent, including offensive weapons such as Will Grier, Demarcus Robinson and Kelvin Taylor.

But Muschamp had his shortcomings in recruiting, as detailed in this story, and missed on some big-time prospects.

There were also recruits Muschamp didn’t offer that he now wishes he had, and Johnson probably tops that list.