On fall Friday nights during the last two years at Prince Avenue Christian School, Logan Johnson was always the easiest player to spot.

In addition to torching defensive backs and breaking away for a big play at least once a game, the now-Georgia preferred walk-on stands only 5 feet, 6 inches tall.

Playing football at this height meant that Johnson has always faced doubters.

In October 2020, Johnson proved many of those critics wrong when he verbally committed to attend Troy University on a full athletic scholarship. Then, in late January of this year, Johnson received an offer to attend the University of Georgia and join the football team as a preferred walk-on.

After weighing the two options, he decided to bet on himself.

“It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” Johnson said. “My dream has always been to play for the University of Georgia. I’ve fallen in love with the Athens area, living here for high school, so I always knew that if they ever came around it would be really hard to say no.”

With the wide receiver room at Georgia filled to the brim with big, tall, physical receivers, Johnson hopes to offer a different threat at the position. Nevertheless, he understands that he faces an uphill battle to earn playing time.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Johnson said. “People say, ‘You’re never going to play, why would you go there when you could’ve gone to Troy?’ I just say to myself, ‘That’s the same thing they told you in high school, middle school and even Little League.’”

Johnson has bet on himself his whole life.

After being told he had a limited ceiling by the coaching staff at Hebron Christian, he transferred to Prince Avenue, home of superstar quarterback Brock Vandagriff, in the second semester of his sophomore year.

“They told me, ‘You’re too small to play anything higher than Division III football,’” Johnson said. “I felt it was best to remove myself from the situation and go to a place where the coaching staff trusted and believed in me.”

Johnson simply needed a chance to prove himself on the gridiron.

“After his sophomore year, he caught 20 balls,” said Prince Avenue head coach Greg Vandagriff. “So they came to check out our school and decided this was the best place for them.”

Johnson’s bet paid off in spades.

Johnson and Vandagriff quickly formed a lethal connection. Johnson had back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving, earned first team all-state honors for his senior campaign, scored two touchdowns against Rabun County on ESPN and ended his high school career with a state championship.

Johnson enrolled at the University of Georgia on June 1.

It is a new chapter, but his mindset and mission remain the same.

“I do everything with that chip on my shoulder,” Johnson said. “When people tell me I can’t do this, ‘can’t’ is not a word to me.”

Greg Vandagriff admires Johnson for taking on what is sure to be the biggest challenge of his career.

“He’ll go in and he’ll be undersized and they’ll look at him and they’ll doubt him just like it has happened at every stage of his life and he’ll just have to prove he can play,” Vandagriff said. “He’s going to have his challenges playing for a powerhouse, but it’s something he’s shown he’s willing to bite off.”

Brandon Bryant is a student in the sports media program at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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