Recently named Alabama's Mr. Football after having an outstanding senior season at Madison Academy, Johnson said, “We know to have a great program you’re always going to need help. We are kind of rebuilding on the defensive side of the ball and we are kind of reloading on the offensive side of the ball. That was just our job--to come out, give everybody a look at everything and just make sure that they knew that we wanted them.”
Johnson, who was named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state, said he thought the weekend went “really smooth.” He said he felt like the other prospects who hadn’t visited before got a lot out of their time on the Plains.
“I know I did, and I’ve been there a lot, so I’m sure the other guys did too that are aren’t there as much as me,” said Johnson, who added that there were a lot of big name, talented prospects to keep entertained for the weekend.
“You don’t want one five-star to think he’s not being talked to enough as another one,” the 6-0, 185-pound Johnson said. “They made sure that everybody got to talk, everybody got their own individual time. I feel like those guys really enjoyed it.”
The Tigers’ visitor list was certainly star-studded, with six five-stars and 13 four-stars spending the weekend meeting coaches, and touring campus and the football facilities. Johnson said the number of highly-rated recruits may show what the future at Auburn could be.
“I’ve never been around this big a group of guys with this much talent at one specific place,” Johnson said. “This is what it could be. We’re probably not going to get every single person that was there, but it shows how many good players are interested and how many good players see what’s going on here.”
Kerryon Johnson led Madison Academy to the state championship as a senior who was a standout on both offense and defense.
Johnson, the nation’s 11th-ranked running back by Scout.com, said he hasn’t decided whether he will take an official visit to Alabama next weekend. He said he has to talk it over with his parents and “see if it’s worth it or not” because his main recruiters at Alabama, Lance Thompson and Kevin Steele, have taken jobs elsewhere, with Thompson taking a position with the Tigers as linebackers coach.
Johnson said he spent a lot of time talking to Thompson on his visit and that they “reconnected.” He also said he thought it was big that the Tigers brought in Thompson, cornerbacks coach Travaris Robinson and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp as soon as they did because of the positive impact it could have on defensive recruiting.
“They’re great recruiters, but also great coaches with great records,” Johnson said. “I think that was huge for them make sure that everyone knows that we’re not just going to be an offensive team. You’re not going to be able to score 60 points every game and win so you’re going to have to be able to shut people down, and that’s what they’re trying to go towards.”