DURHAM, N.C. – Duke men’s tennis head coach Ramsey Smith and the Blue Devil program are pleased to provide an in-depth introduction to the squad’s 2019 recruiting class. Hailing from Atlanta, Garrett Johns will arrive on campus next year to join the Blue Devil roster for the 2019-20 campaign.
“When I think of Garrett's game, I think of the word solid,” Smith said. “He does not blow you away with flash, but has a high tennis IQ, moves well and makes a ton of balls. Garrett's consistency and heart has the ability to frustrate opponents and push them past their breaking points. The longer the match, the better for Garrett."
Johns reached a high of No. 10 in the TennisRecruiting.net national rankings. The Holy Innocents Episcopal School product is the No. 1 prospect in the state of Georgia and No. 4 in the southeast according to TennisRecruiting.net.
"I knew Duke University was the right place for me the first time I visited campus," Johns said. "Coach Smith and Coach Stokke are great coaches. I believe they will help me take my tennis game to the next level. They made it clear they are interested in developing me as a person as well as a tennis player. I also get along well with the current players as well as all of the other recruits I have met over the past few months. I'm excited to be part of such a large recruiting class, and really look forward to playing with these new teammates for the next four years. Overall, Duke has everything I want from an educational and athletic perspective. As a plus, I've always been a big basketball fan. I am really excited to see the basketball team play in Cameron Indoor."
At the USTA Boys 18 & 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo in August of 2017, Johns received the Bobby Kaplan Sportsmanship Award for the Boys 16s. Johns joins Smith and Associate Head Coach Jonathan Stokke as winners of the Sportsmanship Award at Kalamazoo. During the 2017 event, Johns advanced to the singles quarterfinals draw.
"From a character standpoint, I cannot count how many other coaches, parents, players and officials have told me, 'great kid with a great family,' as soon as I bring up Garrett’s name," Smith added. "Garrett is fortunate to have been mentored and coached by Noel Wadawu his entire tennis career."
At the 2017 USTA Boys' 16s National Clay Court Championships, Johns took home a gold ball after breezing to the singles title without dropping a set. He downed Jacob Bullard 6-2, 6-2 in the championship tilt for the first singles gold ball of his career.
At the time of Johns' signing, he held an ATP ranking of No. 1,477. He most recently played in the Tallahassee Futures event last week, earning a pair of victories, against Sergey Belov of Russia and Bryn Nahrung of Austria. A trip to the quarterfinals of the Tunisia Futures event in Hammamet, Tunisia, netted John's first career ATP points, in June of 2018.
Johns is part of Duke’s five-member 2019 recruiting class along with Michael Heller, Omni Kumar, Samuel Rubell and Andrew Zhang. GoDuke.com is set to release details on all five of the newest Blue Devils in the coming weeks.