Johnson's decision in doubt Sports Adam Van Brimmer | Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 12:30 am ATLANTA - Imagine being both Calvin Johnson's teammate and roommate. Picture yourself sleeping a screen pass away from the man who can make you a better football player just by his being on the field. Visualize yourself routinely kicking back and watching some late-night TV or playing Playstation 2 at midnight with the man who could mean the difference between contending for a conference title and bowl eligibility next season. Think about being Taylor Bennett ... and the daily temptation to pressure college football's best wide receiver to pass up NFL millions to return to Georgia Tech for his senior year. Could you resist like Bennett - who's only the heir apparent quarterback at Georgia Tech next season - has the last few months? "I told myself I wouldn't talk to him about it," Bennett said, "until after the bowl game." That will give Bennett 14 days to work on his roomie. The NFL Draft application deadline for underclassmen is Jan. 15, 2007, two weeks after Georgia Tech plays West Virginia in the Gator Bowl. Many think Bennett stands a better chance of getting the Alabama coaching job than talking Johnson into another year of cheap pizzas and Madden football challenges. Johnson is, NFL folks whisper, a "once-in-a-generation player." Potentially the top pick in the draft depending on the team in that spot. No lower than fifth overall, guaranteed. "I'm encouraging him to leave," deadpans Bennett before cracking up. Nothing else about Bennett's face and body language betrays his thoughts about Johnson's future. He doesn't roll his eyes or snort at the mention of Johnson returning. What is a foregone conclusion to outsiders - Johnson's gone - is in doubt to one of the wide receiver's closest confidants. Johnson says he has not and will not contemplate next year until after the bowl game. He has spent three years telling everyone who asks he intends to play four years for the Yellow Jackets. Head coach Chan Gailey spent 16 years in the NFL and predicts instant pro stardom for Johnson. Yet he still assumes Johnson will return. And so do I. It takes a contrarian to know a contrarian, and Johnson is a modern-day Galileo in cleats. He picked Georgia Tech and catching passes from Reggie Ball over Georgia and highly regarded quarterbacks David Greene and D.J. Shockley. He is a guy who, given the choice last summer of helping design environmentally friendly luxury condos or building a better third-world toilet, picked the dirty job. He is the anti-star, unwilling to demand attention - or more touches in Georgia Tech's offense - despite being featured in Sports Illustrated and anointed as the college football's most talented player by TV analysts. Bennett won't harass Johnson about his future from Jan. 2-15. He won't threaten to poison his mouthwash or spike his shampoo with Icy Hot. But Bennett will convey a message to his roomie every chance he gets. "We could do magical things if (you) come back," Bennett will tell Johnson. Don't worry, Taylor, he will. --------------------------------------- this would certainly shake up the entire draft landscape. ted ginn becomes the #1 WR on most GM's draft boards and could easily vault into the top 10. dwayne jarrett would be close behind.