AU Commit Excited About Future With Tigers

Trey Johnson talks about meeting with new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder on his junior day visit.

Lawrenceville, Ga.—A longtime Auburn commitment and one of the top players in Georgia for 2013, linebacker Trey Johnson took a trip to the Plains on Saturday for a junior day to talk with new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. Also getting the chance to talk with his future position coach at Auburn, Tommy Thigpen, Johnson said the visit was a great one for him.

"It was real good," Johnson said. "It had been a while since my last time there, since Coach VanGorder was hired and changed Coach Thigpen to the linebackers. Really I was just getting a feel for how they are coaching. We just sat down for a while and talked football, that was the main thing.

"It was real good," he added. "I really got to talk about the role I'll be playing and just the defensive scheme and how fast I'll need to come in and learn the defense and get ready to play."

Now at 6-1, 218 and hoping to play at around 225 next season, Johnson has the size that VanGorder has talked about at the linebacker position. With still 18 months before he could play a game for the Tigers, Johnson could easily be 230 by that time and that's what Auburn is looking for at the position.

Initially one of the things that played a part in Johnson's commitment was his relationship with former defensive coordinator Ted Roof. Even though he has moved on and is now coaching at Penn State, Johnson said Roof's departure hasn't changed his commitment one bit.

"All the changes they made were real good, positive changes," Johnson said. "I feel really strongly about the changes they made. I'm confident even next season they'll excel and do well."

Much of the reason for Johnson's feelings are because of VanGorder. A successful coach at Georgia before moving on to the NFL, the first-year coordinator has a history of producing and that stands out to Johnson.

"It's amazing, but the best thing is having somebody that has been to the next level," Johnson said. "That's where we're all trying to get, and he's been there and coached there. He has the inside tips that we might not know. He can give us insight on things we might not know.

"It was just how serious he was," he added of what stood out about VanGorder. "He just seemed serious when I talked to him. He seemed like he would laugh a little bit, but he's serious when it comes to football. He's more into it when talking football and that's what I like about him."

Meeting and talking with VanGorder was something that was important for Johnson, but he said one of the things he enjoyed about his trip as well was getting a better opportunity to sit down and become closer to Thigpen.

"It's real exciting," Johnson said. "I just started talking with him about two weeks ago. Since then we're starting to build a big relationship because he's going to be my position coach. We're just really getting into everything right now."

On hand for the junior day along with fellow commitment Dee Liner, Johnson had the opportunity to not only meet with his future coaches but also talk to some other top prospects from around the country. He said he's enjoying that part of things at the moment and is looking to take on a more active role in the coming months to help Auburn to another top class in 2013.

"I haven't really been into looking at other players, but I know now I need to get players to come to Auburn," Johnson said. "I'm going to start looking them up on Scout to see who's who and see their pictures so I can match a picture with a name."

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