Kedric Johnson has to alter his dreams, but he hasn't given up on them.
After four surgeries and enough injuries to fill a medical dictionary, the former Palmetto High defensive end is leaving the University of Florida.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder, visited Fort Hays State University in Kansas last weekend and signed with the Division II school. He received his release from Florida shortly after last season.
Johnson will graduate from Florida next month and will have at least one year of eligibility. There is the possibility of two years if the NCAA grants him a medical waiver.
"It's time for me to move from Florida. I am disappointed in the playing time, but there were all those injuries. I appreciate the opportunities the coaches gave me," Johnson said from Gainesville.
The 22-year-old missed all of last season with a dislocated knee. Previous injuries included a torn labrum, broken hand, two torn MCLs, dislocated patella tendon and a torn quad muscle.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp said prior to last season that Johnson could be major contributor if he was healthy. Johnson says he is now, but wants to play elsewhere.
"My time at Florida needs to come to an end. It's time for me to go somewhere else and prepare for the NFL," said Johnson, who played at Palmetto under Ray Woodie, now an assistant at USF.
Johnson said the departure of Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the NFL played a role in his decision.
When Johnson finished high school in 2009, then USF head coach Jim Leavitt wanted him badly. He likely could have walked into a starting lineup as a freshman and
seemed a strong bet to start as a sophomore.
But Florida head coach Urban Meyer sold him a dream.
"I don't regret any of my decisions. Florida was a good experience," Johnson said. "I am frustrated about the injuries, but it's something I can't control. All I can do is keep preparing like I have one more shot. I wanted to go to smaller school now, work hard and get my shot at the NFL. I am back to my old self and totally healthy."
Carnes on the move
Brion Carnes, who quarterbacked Manatee for four years and signed with the University of Nebraska amid controversy and hoopla, is leaving the program, according to Huskers head coach Bo Pelini. Sources told the Bradenton Herald that Carnes' likely destination is Tennessee State in Nashville, the school Lakewood Ranch product Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie used to turn himself into a first-round NFL draft pick.
Carnes plans to leave Nebraska the end of the semester. He was the earliest commit in USF history, telling the Bulls as a sophomore that he was coming. But Leavitt was fired when Carnes was a senior, and his college plans became muddled in confusion.
He appeared headed for Western Kentucky, coached by Willie Taggart, but at the last minute following the influence of his cousin and Manatee/Nebraska great Tommie Frazier, committed to the Cornhuskers. It turned out to be a mistake.
Carnes redshirted his first year and then was the backup to Taylor Martinez. He slipped in the depth chart and switched to receiver last month in a move that didn't work out.
Carnes' biggest moment at Nebraska came in the Huskers' 2011 spring game, when he piled up 210 yards of offense. But with Martinez rarely coming out of a game, Carnes didn't get much of a chance, and Nebraska brought in highly touted QB Tommy Armstrong.
Taggart is head coach at USF, but the likelihood is that Carnes heads to Tennessee State. He will be a redshirt junior and by transferring to an FCS school, he can play immediately.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7080, ext. 2112. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.