Johnson Focused On Another Title Run

Auburn commitment Kerryon Johnson talks about his senior season, the playoff run, Auburn's offense, and more.

Madison, Ala.--For longtime Auburn commitment Kerryon Johnson it’s the time of year he enjoys the most, playoff time. Competing for a state title as a freshman before winning back-to-back championships the last two seasons at Madison Academy, Johnson is just hitting his stride as the Mustangs prepare to face Winston County in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs on Friday night.

Coming off a win over Class 6A Briarwood Christian last week when Johnson accounted for 140 yards and four touchdowns on offense and caused a fumble on defense, Madison Academy is primed to make a run to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Super 7 in a month.

“It’s always exciting because not every team gets to make it to the playoffs,” Johnson said. “That keeps you on your toes knowing you have another run at that state championship. It’s always exciting.”

Briarwood Christian is just one of the tough games that Madison Academy played this season as Coach Eric Cohu tried to challenge his team to get them ready for the playoffs. Falling to Class 4A power Leeds to open the season and also playing Maplewood High out of Tennessee, the Mustangs managed a 9-1 regular season and outscored their opponents 467-121. Johnson noted that facing tough teams throughout the year is what it takes to be ready for what lies ahead in the playoffs.

“It prepares you a lot,” he said. “Leeds and Briarwood are good and Leeds is one of the best teams in the state talent-wise and also execution-wise. They are a really good team. Briarwood is a really good 6A team with really good tradition. That helps you grow during the season and ending with a tough opponent gives you another good look. I doubt we’ll see a team that executes as well as them in the playoffs so it’s always helpful.”

A four-star prospect and the No. 6 ranked running back in the country, according to, Johnson is a player who can do a number of different things and does them well for the Mustangs. Whether it’s playing tailback, wildcat quarterback, wide receiver, safety or returning kicks, Johnson notes he loves every minute of it.

“I feel like things have gone well,” he said of his senior year. “I’m doing a bunch of things. Our coaches have really done a good job of getting me the ball in different scenarios. I feel like we’re running smoothly on the offensive end and defensive end. I feel really good about things.

“I’m having fun and it has also been a learning experience,” Johnson added. “Just being put in different situations I’m having to learn a lot of things. It has been really fun though. I’m enjoying everything about it.”

Kerryon Johnson is a talented and versatile player

While the senior is focusing on winning another title, it hasn’t kept him from keeping a close watch on the Auburn Tigers this fall. Enjoying the way Coach Gus Malzahn and the offense is rolling up yards and points, he said seeing how they are playing has been a fun ride for him even though he’s not a part of the program just yet.

“It’s real exciting for me,” Johnson said of watching Auburn play. “Clearly they are running the ball very well. They are just pounding teams. That’s a good, young offensive line they have up there. Also seeing Nick Marshall throw the ball as well as he has is very exciting.”

Seeing Cameron Artis-Payne have so much success is something that is music to the ears of Johnson, but he’s focused on more that just the tailback position when watching the Tigers. Capable of playing wide receiver in addition to carrying the ball, he said there is so much to like for him when watching the offense play.

“I picture myself potentially being that slot guy that does the jet sweeps and everything like that,” Johnson said. “Also, I’m just watching the offense and trying to get a small grasp of how it works on the outside.”

Saying that he could take official visits to Alabama and Florida State in addition to Auburn, Johnson said nothing has changed with his thoughts on the Tigers since he made his decision in April and he’s looking forward to a bright future on the Plains.

“I’m 100 percent committed to Auburn,” Johnson said. “Definitely.”

“I feel like we have a handful of really good linemen coming in,” he added. “I think we have four or five guys coming in. Also, I like the diversity we have coming in. We have linebackers here, defensive backs, quarterbacks and receivers. They have done a very good job of putting this class together. We are all talented and all have different skill sets.”

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