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Southeast Whitfield senior Luke Johns had nationwide options when it came to his college football future, but on Friday he decided the best destination was in his own state.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end committed to Georgia Tech a day after visiting the Yellow Jackets. He picked the Atlantic Coast Conference program among about 20 Division I scholarship offers, Southeast coach Sean Gray said.

"He had them from coast to coast, Rutgers all the way to Washington State," Gray said.

Gray said Georgia Tech assistant Ron West came to watch Johns in the spring, and Thursday's visit to Atlanta apparently assured both program and player they were due for a partnership.

"They told him yesterday they were pretty close to offering him," Gray said Friday. "Coach West said (head coach) Paul Johnson came in Friday morning and said he'd thought about (Johns) all night and wanted to offer him."

Posting on Twitter, Johns thanked God, his family, friends, coaches and all the teams who had considered him.

"All the long trips we made to visit colleges was a great experience, but after yesterday I am very excited and blessed to announce that I'm committing to Georgia Tech!" he wrote.

Johns is a versatile athlete who also has played basketball and has cleared 6 feet, 8 inches in the high jump. He finished third in that event at the GHSA Class AAAA state track and field meet as a sophomore.

Contact Marty Kirkland at mkirkland@timesfreepress.com

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