Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons outside linebacker Khalib Johns has committed to Mercer University after a sophomore season in which he was a unanimous all-conference selection for the Cougars.
Mercer University is an NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program located in Macon, Georgia. The Bears compete in the Southern Conference.
Johns registered 35 total tackles, with 25 solo takedowns, to rank seventh on the team. He also recorded a sack and 5.5 tackles for loss across 11 games for the Cougars in 2019.
At season’s end Johns was one of just 14 players, and six Cougars, to be named a unanimous Southern California Football Association (SCFA) First Team defense selection.
Canyons (9-3, 4-1) shared the 2019 National Division, Northern League championship with Ventura College (8-3, 4-1) and Long Beach City College (7-3, 4-1) before moving on and defeating Saddleback College in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs. COC then lost to eventual state champions Riverside City College in the Southern California Championship game.
As a freshman in 2018, Johns, who attended Antelope Valley High School, was credited with 29 tackles, five tackles for loss and a pair of sacks as a key member of the state’s No.1 ranked defense. That season the Cougars limited opponents to a state-best 9.5 points per game and surrendered just 10 touchdowns during the regular season.
Canyons has now seen 13 members of the 2019 team transfer to join four-year programs.
Johns follows defensive end Benjamin Seymour (Montana State University), running back Cayden Dunn, defensive back Jauqine Vukobradovich (North Carolina Central University), quarterback Armani Edden (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), wide receiver Alonzell Henderson (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), offensive tackle Kilian Zierer (University of Auburn), center Jordan Palmer (Middle Tennessee State University), kicker Tanner Brown (University of Nevada Las Vegas), defensive tackle Jack Schultz (Abilene Christian University), linebacker Tyler Richardson (Wagner College), safety Tre Vallar (Wagner College) and offensive tackle Kideam Diouf (Arkansas State University), as members of the 2019 Cougars squad that have committed to four-year programs.