Tigers Getting "Playmaker" In Johnson

Talented running back Kerryon Johnson is the latest commitment for the Auburn Tigers and his coach talks about why the four-star recruit will be a good one at the college level.

Madison, Ala.--From the first time the coaches at Madison Academy saw Kerryon Johnson on the field playing flag football as a sixth-grader they knew they had something special. His performance once he put the pads on as a freshman backed up those beliefs.

Auburn's newest commitment and a four-star running back, Johnson is the definition of a team player. Sharing the load in the backfield with talented 2016 prospect Malik Miller, the 6-0, 200-pounder would likely be a 2,000-yard rusher in most offenses, but that's not the case at Madison Academy. Instead he plays his role, whether that is carrying the football, catching the football, or playing defense. All are traits that Coach Eric Cohu said makes Johnson a special player.

"He is a very mature young man, very team oriented," Cohu said. "That is one thing we are trying to institute in our program and that is to play for us you have got to really be a team player.

"That is tough on guys like him and even Malik Miller, and guys who are very phenomenal football players, but what it does is it allows the team to be first. Young men want to play for something bigger than themselves. I think they understand in the long run that pays off.

"I may be the only guy in America left, but we are going to focus on team first and what can you do to help the team reach its goal," Madison Academy's head coach said.

Kerryon Johnson was all smiles following his commitment to Auburn.

Reaching the goal hasn't been a problem for the Mustangs on the gridiron as they won back-to-back state titles the last two seasons and should be a heavy favorite to win number three in 2014. That exposure and experience has made Johnson a target for opposing teams since early in his career, but Cohu said it hasn't changed the kind of player and person his star has become.

"He is a versatile athlete on both sides of the ball," the coach said. "He has been a playmaker. To me he is explosive. He has been making plays since a young age. He is tough in football.

"Somebody asked about being a marked man, but he has been a marked man since day one. He has been an integral part of what we have done the last few years. If you are scheming for us you have to stop Kerryon Johnson in a lot of different ways. He is an explosive, dynamic playmaker."

With the abillity to make plays in space, Johnson should be a perfect fit in an Auburn offense designed to get the football to its playmakers in many different ways. While Gus Malzahn's offense was one of the selling points for the Tigers, Cohu said in the end it was Malzahn and his coaching staff that made the biggest difference in his opinion.

"I feel like one thing Auburn has done is be very persistent, very personable with him and I think that matters," Cohu said. "I think all the staffs did a good job--they all three brought their elements to the table and so forth, but certainly they (Auburn) have had a concerted effort to get him on campus."

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