Arizona makes history with 2017 recruiting class: Some will call this progress. Others will say that it is a crying shame that it is happening there will be some who deem it as “progress.” It will certainly bring some additional attention to the Arizona Wildcats program when the football season kicks off in the fall.

They will have the first openly gay Scholarship athlete on the roster, a 6’3” 225-pound defensive end by the name of My-King Johnson.

There have been other gay athletes that played for major college programs. Former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam made his announcement following the end of his career with the Tigers and before the NFL draft.

Chip Sarafin, a former walk-on offensive lineman at Arizona State, made his sexuality public before his final season in 2014.

So, while he will not be the first openly gay football player at a major program, he will be the first active openly gay scholarship player when he enrolls at Arizona this summer.

Wildcats just want someone that can play--and Johnson can!

Many will wonder if the team knew when they recruited him that he was gay. According to an interview, Johnson gave to the Arizona Daily Star they did—because he told them. After telling Arizona assistant coach that he was, he heard what he hoped to hear—we want you to be a Wildcat.

Amey had been the coach to head up efforts to recruit Johnson and was the first to offer him a scholarship.

He admits to having trouble sleeping after Johnson told him, but not because he was uncomfortable with the thought of coaching a player he knew was gay. "When I found out, I really couldn’t sleep,” Amey said via “And it wasn’t like I was uncomfortable with it. I was just like, all right, it’s different, it’s new…”

What matters most is if he can play

Of course, what matter most is whether he can play.

During his junior season in high school he recorded 22 sacks including one game where he had six and a half. Last season he had 19.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles.

Arizona ranked 86th in the nation last season with 22 sacks as a team. Clearly, the Wildcats have a need that Johnson can fill. Maybe someday, the fact that he is being given a chance will not be considered “news.”