Coach's Take: "Sky Is The Limit" For Johnson

Lincoln Coach Brad Wallace talks about Auburn's newest commitment Jauntavius Johnson

Lincoln, Ala.--Heading into his second season as the head coach at Lincoln High School, Brad Wallace said he knew pretty early that he had something special in big defensive tackle Jauntavius Johnson. Now down almost 40 pounds since his freshman year with the Golden Bears and more than 20 since last spring, Auburn’s newest commitment has transformed his body and his coach said he has the game to match.

“When I first took over these guys they had five coaches in five years,” Wallace said. “I think me being around for another year and seeing me as a hard worker, he has taken on a role just like I have. He’s wanting to make things better for this school and black and gold bleeds through his veins. The sky is the limit for the kid.

“He’s our leader,” Wallace added. “He’s the first guy out on the field every day. He pretty much takes the reins and when he sees things slowing up he takes it on. The thing about his commitment is he said he didn’t want this to overshadow our season. He wanted this to be taken care of. Now he’s ready to take on his senior year of high school football.”

Checking in at 6-3, 320 pounds, Johnson is a physical talent who is just beginning to find his way as a defensive player for Lincoln. Last season he finished with 79 tackles, but he also had 10 rushing touchdowns as a short yardage back. It’s that kind of athletic ability that Wallace said makes his standout player someone with unlimited potential on the next level.

“In 10 yards he can make up a lot of ground,” Wallace said. “He’s a special, special talent. He’s working on his speed right now. That’s the main thing he came to me about. He wanted to get faster. We’ve really taken that on and we’ve done it as a team deal. We’ve gotten tremendously faster and I think he’s knocked half a second off his 40 time in the last year. He’s got some speed to him and a quick burst. He’s just a talented kid. It’s hard to get the words to explain him.”

With Auburn’s need on the defensive line a big one starting in 2015, Johnson is the type of player who could come in and make an immediate impact. Just how quickly he plays will be all up to him said Wallace. Loaded with the talent and showing the desire to be great, now it’s up to him just how far that talent will take him.

“In my eyes he’s still green,” Wallace said. “He’s got a long ways to go, but when I say that you watch his tape and he’s already there. He’s still just scratching the surface on what he can do. When he eventually gets there he’s going to be a tremendous player for somebody.”

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