DOBSON — Garrett Johnson began his college application process like most high school seniors, but the end result was a little bit different for the Surry Central shortstop.
Johnson always wanted to play baseball at the next level, but his recruiting process didn’t really take off until he attended a prospect camp at Gardner-Webb University in January. Bluefield College in Virginia was there to watch him, and the Rams invited Johnson up to campus for a visit and another workout in March.
The Bluefield coaches obviously liked what they saw in Johnson, and he received a scholarship offer just one week later. The Rams wanted him to think things over with his parents, but Johnson was already confident in his decision.
“They contacted me and told me they were giving offers out today, and they offered me scholarship money, and I said yes right away. I didn’t really want to wait around. I wanted to take it,” Johnson said.
He made things official on Wednesday, signing his letter of intent to play for Bluefield next year in front of family and coaches.
Johnson is in the midst of his final season at Surry Central and admits he hasn’t had too much time to think about his upcoming time at Bluefield College. The Golden Eagles are locked into a chase for the playoffs in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference, and Johnson has been their starting shortstop this season.
Johnson is hitting .320 this spring, but he’s also done a tremendous job in the field with just two errors.
“I’ve always been a good fielder,” Johnson said. “I hardly ever make a bad error, like letting one just go through my legs. I’m still working at becoming a better hitter, but I think I’ve improved a good amount this season.”
One reason Johnson believes he has improved this season is the competition within the Surry Central baseball team. The Golden Eagles have a deep roster with plenty of players vying for time on the field, so Johnson has to make sure he is consistently putting in the right effort to hold down his starting position.
“We’ve just got so many guys that put pressure on each other in practice every day,” Johnson said. “The competition has brought out the best in me this year, because I can’t take anything for granted.”
Johnson knows he will need to have that same mind set when he arrives at Bluefield in the fall. He’s looking forward to competing with other college-caliber players from day one of his freshman year.
However, he also knows he needs to improve in a variety of ways. One thing the coaches at Bluefield have already told him is he needs to add weight in the offseason. Johnson expects to be put on a food plan and weightlifting program dedicated to adding muscle.
Aside from baseball, Johnson is just excited about arriving on Bluefield’s campus. He’s ready to start a new experience outside of Surry County, while still having that community feel.
“I loved it up there when I went for the workouts,” Johnson said. “The atmosphere is really close-knit. It has more of a hometown vibe than a big university.”
His parents couldn’t be more thrilled with Johnson’s decision. They feel as though their son has made the right decisions every step of the way, and this next step in Johnson’s life is exactly what he deserves.
“Everything has just fell right into place for Garrett,” said NAME Johnson, Garrett’s mother. “There was no hassle and everything just worked out great. He wanted to play ball in college, he’s done well in school and well on his SAT’s, and it allowed him to find the perfect place for what he wanted.”
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16