UM linebacker Eddie Johnson was a talent waiting to break out in a big way. Actually, he had begun to break out already in his redshirt freshman season in 2012.
Unfortunately, from what I'm told by insiders, he began hanging out with the wrong crowd, and got himself in trouble that UM didn't want to touch.
He's now officially a Hinds Community College Eagle, said his new head coach, Gene Murphy.
"He'll be enrolled for the summer session and start practice in August,'' said Murphy, who also serves as the athletic director at Hinds CC in Raymond, just outside Jackson. "We're excited about it. My evaluation of him is that he's a sideline to sideline guy and he knows how to play the game.''
Other UM players who played at Hinds include first-round draft pick Jerome McDougle in 1999, a defensive end. At the same time, former UM DE Andrew Williams played there.
The difference: McDougal and Williams played at HInds first, then transferred to Miami.
"We've had about 50 guys who have played in the NFL after starting out at HInds,'' Murphy said.
In 2012, the Eagles had a disappointing season, starting the preseason ranked sixth in the nation but ending 4-5.
"We fell off the cliff,' Murphy said.
This past season, Johnson was fourth in team tackles, while playing only eight games. Suspensions plagued him. He had 59 tackles, a sack, an interception and three forced fumbles.
Here's hoping his trouble is in the past.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN