4-Star RB Kerryon Johnson Chooses Auburn

Four-star running back Kerryon Johnson announced his decision on a college choice on Tuesday at Madison Academy when he picked Gus Malzahn's Tigers.

Madison, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers added another huge piece of the puzzle to the 2015 recruiting class on Tuesday when four-star running back Kerryon Johnson chose the Tigers over Alabama, Florida State and dozens of other schools.

"I have been to Auburn a couple of times and everytime I have been there, I am telling you man, there is a feel to Auburn," Johnson said. "It felt like in my household."

Noting that Auburn is a "family-built" school that he's very comfortable with, Johnson said one of the things he focused on during recruiting was building a strong relationship with the coaches and players, something he found with the Tigers.

"You really feel close to everybody there," Johnson said. "They have a really good coaching staff that brings a lot of energy. Those are just some of the basic things I like about it there."

Last season Johnson battled through injuries and accounted for 1,549 yards of total offense (1,018 rushing) and 22 touchdowns in helping his team to a 15-0 record and the state championship. That was coming off a big year as a sophomore when Johnson led Madison Academy to the Class 3A state championship crown by rushing for nearly 1,800 yards with 28 touchdowns on the ground.

Throw in the nearly 800 yards on the ground as a freshman and Johnson enters his senior year with more 3,600 rushing yards to his credit.

Johnson noted that he plans to stick to his commitment. "I have always said from the beginning of this process I was not going to be a guy to commit, decommit and commit. At the same time, I don't think any athlete, especially in his junior year, is 200 percent committed to a college, but I will tell you something: I am not going to be that guy that commits to one school, decommits, commits, decommits. I feel great at Auburn and I wouldn't expect that to change if I was anybody else."

Commenting on Auburn, the four star recruit said, "It's a small town, but it has got a lot of fire to it. I love the feeling of it. That was the deciding factor. All three programs (FSU, Alabama and Auburn) are great programs, very academic schools, great weight rooms and all of that, but that feeling right there is what separated them."

The prospect noted that he has built a good relationship with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, running backs coach Tim Horton and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

"They are good Christian guys," he said. "They will get on to you, but you know it is out of love. I sat down and talked to them on my last visit, all three of them in a room, and we just had an hour-long conversation about family.

"They started on football for 10 minutes and then we started on the character, the family part and aspect of it, and that really struck me the way my family is structured. That will take you farther than the football will."

Originally from Tallahassee before moving to Madison, the Seminoles had a head start in the recruiting process. Talking about his decision to choose Auburn instead, Johnson said, "It is weird at first us being Florida State fans, of course, you are like you have always had that dream, but at the end of the day when I told my family the decision it was 'this is your choice.' It is not like they hated the school at all. They loved it as well.

"They knew the type of person I was and they knew the type of people they are so they supported me 100 percent," he said. "It is nice to have a family like that who can support you 100 percent."

Kerryon Johnson is shown at an Auburn football camp.

Johnson kept coaches at Auburn, FSU and Alabama in the dark about his decision prior to announcing it at Madison Academy on Tuesday. "The only people who knew...I told Coach (Eric) Cohu, my dad and my mom."

He noted that it was difficult to keep his choice a secret. "A lot of people wanted a lot of answers. A lot of people wanted answers from other people. It was difficult, but at the same time it was a good joy to have that blessing of being recognized and people wanting to know. It was a great opportunity for me and my family."

Johnson becomes the sixth commitment for the Auburn Tigers in the 2015 class. The running back said he made his decision several weeks ago after his most recent visit to the Auburn campus. "I was just sitting at my room at night just thinking about the visit I went on and how great I felt while I was there. It just struck, it just hit me that is where I need to be. That is where I should, that is the best place I should be for the next four years."

He said after he came to the conclusion that he wants to be an Auburn Tiger he decided to make it public. "I had a great feeling at Auburn and I knew that would be the place. Why wait if you have your mind made up?" he said. "That is just allowing unnecessary drama and stuff so I was like let's go ahead and get this thing done with."

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