Reneging Recruit’s Facebook Hate Claim Is Bogus

Five weeks ago, the state of Mississippi’s top football recruit, linebacker CJ Johnson, said the following about his verbal commitment to play football at Mississippi State:

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

I am still going to visit Ole Miss and LSU. I want to just take those visits to just visit and my mom said I should take advantage of the opportunity. But I am still going to Mississippi State. It’s just like what my dad told me before he passed away. He said ‘son, the only thing you have in this world is your word’. I am committed to Mississippi State and that’s where I am going to school.

Naturally, Johnson made his final commitment yesterday to Ole Miss.

Despite Johnson’s previous commit to MSU, his flip-flop wasn’t a surprise. The first week of January, after then-Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was hired to take over the Univ. of Texas defense, Johnson told the MOBILE PRESS-REGISTER that his commit to MSU was wavering. Johnson:

It started off that (former MSU asst. coach) Mark Hudspeth was recruiting me, and he left and went to Louisiana-Lafayette, and then coach Diaz left and went to Texas. So it kind of got me thinking about some things and I don’t feel as comfortable as I did.”

Once Johnson made public that his football services were again up for grabs, all hell broke loose on his personal Facebook page.

Until his verbal yesterday, the “wall” of Johnson’s Facebook page was littered with accusations that his mother had been hired for a high-paying job by an Ole Miss operative days before the linebacker prospect spurned Mississippi State in early January.

Hours before he committed to Mississippi yesterday, Johnson posted the following message on that same Facebook page:

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

This is my last facebook post and I’m gonna leave facebook with this Linda Johnson has never worked as a house worker making 100 000 dollars a year and I will not be a Mississippi state bulldog and I’m not considering Mississippi state anymore bc you have constantly comment on my page send me crazy inboxes and has made my recruiting experience a living nightmare. Goodbye facebook

One minute later, Johnson posted a somewhat contradictory message about why he wouldn’t be seen in Starkvegas anytime soon:

CJ Johnson Facebook Message

My decision wasn’t based off of facebook either if it rub any ppl that way ole miss is a better fit for CJ Johnson

So Johnson said he was upset at the wall posts on his personal Facebook page - and personal messages - and that those comments led him to spurn Mississippi State but that his decision to attend Ole Miss “wasn’t based off Facebook either.

In a story published today in the JACKSON (MS) CLARION-LEDGER, Johnson said of his final commit to Ole Miss: “Man, I’m done with this crap and I’m ready to get it over with.

More from Johnson:

“I saw rumors on the Internet with people saying I decommitted from Mississippi State because my momma has been working for this Ole Miss guy and she cleaned his house up for a year and she made $100,000. If my momma made $100,000 a year, I wouldn’t be driving the truck that I’m driving. I would have had a vehicle a long time ago. It’s just the little stuff like that.

“I got a lot of trash talking by both schools on Facebook, but that didn’t have a lot to do with it. But when you start getting my mom involved and my family involved, that takes it to a whole another level.”

Johnson’s mother Linda added to the Clarion-Ledger, “I thank God this is my last round. It’s been really crazy this time.

Obviously the abuse Johnson was subjected to by fans was uncalled for, but what he neglected to mention is that he authorized every single person who posted or sent him the messages that apparently caused him and his mother such consternation to do so.

If Johnson hadn’t granted over 2,000 friend requests made to his now-deleted Facebook account, or enable anyone to personally message him, none of the ugliness would’ve happened.

In truth, Johnson fed off the drama he himself created - until accusations about his mother were injected into the equation by Facebook users who supposedly represented the interests of Mississippi State football.

Johnson then delivered a classless, parting shot at Mississippi State fans, despite the fact that he himself facilitated the messages posted about his mother. (And for all we know the people who posted those messages did not represent the interests of MSU.)

What’s most disconcerting about this story isn’t what actually happened, but how it was covered in the main media. The press reported that Johnson was relieved to end his recruitment because he was getting harassed on his Facebook page. But as you now know, Johnson had as much to do with that as anyone, and at the very least could’ve deleted the page at the first sign of trouble.

But instead we get the latest of the seemingly endless stories about what an evil thing Facebook is, instead of holding the athlete who enabled the situation accountable.

No one asked Johnson, “why did you friend everyone … why didn’t you delete the account weeks ago if you had concerns?

Understand that Facebook and Twitter are software-driven sites. Users are given tools that allow them virtual total control over their accounts. Even after the account is deleted!

Remember that the next time you hear someone, athlete or otherwise, claim that Facebook or Twitter is to blame for their so-called woes.

Will Hill claims Twitter was hacked

Like a certain former Florida Gator.

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