Johnson part of UF’s young linebacking corps that will start in Texas

Florida linebacker Kylan Johnson can’t wait to return to Texas and play in front of family and friends against Michigan on Sept. 2. Brad McClenny/Staff Photographer

Given the great distance he must travel, going home is always a special occasion for Florida linebacker Kylan Johnson. His next trip, he figures, will be off the charts.

“It’s going to be great. I can’t wait,” the redshirt sophomore said.

When he heads back to Dallas for the first weekend in September, all of his teammates and coaches will be right there with him this time. The happy homecoming will be a celebration of family, friends and football — with the Gators playing Michigan right down the road at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sept. 2.

“It’s very exciting,” Johnson said. “We’re all looking forward to being in Dallas, playing in Jerry’s World (where the Dallas Cowboys play). It’s going to be an exciting game. I can’t wait.

“Yeah, it does motivate me to work even harder (this summer). I’m going to get to see my family and everyone gets a chance to actually come see me play instead of watch on TV.”

Johnson certainly is familiar with Jerry’s World. His high school team (Dallas Skyline) played its season opener at AT&T Stadium in his senior year. But he knows there will be a much different atmosphere in the stadium Sept. 2.

“There are going to be a lot of people there for this college game,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Among the crowd will be numerous family members and friends.

Those who have not seen him play since his senior season in high school may not recognize Johnson at first. When he left Dallas three years ago, he was a rangy, 210-pound safety prospect. He returns as a 230-pound starting linebacker, who is athletic enough and versatile enough to play all three linebacker positions.
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