Mobile, Ala.--Talented linebacker Thomas Johnston has several big-time scholarship offers early in the process with one of them being the Auburn Tigers. On campus last weekend with good friend and fellow four-star prospect Ryan Johnson, the Spanish Fort High standout said the weekend went really well being on the Plains with the Tigers looking to sign a large group of players at his position next year.
“It was a great experience meeting the new staff and Coach (Kevin) Steele,” Johnston said. “We have a great relationship coming from LSU. Going up there and having some love from the coaches is a great feeling.”
One of the reasons for the visit for Johnston was catching up with new defensive coordinator Steele and linebackers Coach Travis Williams while also spending time with Dameyune Craig. Johnston said the relationship with the coaching staff is a big reason why the Tigers are a team high on his list early in the process.
“Coach Craig has been recruiting me the last two years,” the class of 2017 prospect said. “Coming from Mobile he knows a bunch of people down there. Knowing people up there like Tre (Williams), DeShaun Davis, Tre Threat, it is a family down there. It would be nice to come up every once in a while during the season and get to know more people.”
Thomas Johnston and Ryan Johnson
While he’s familiar with Craig and a lot of guys on the Plains, it was his bond with Steele that made the biggest impression with Johnston. After visiting him at LSU last fall, Johnston got an offer very quickly when Steele was hired at Auburn, something that was big for him.
“It means a lot coming from him,” Johnston said. “Getting an offer a day after he gets the job says a lot coming from him and means I’m a big deal for him. We’ll see how that goes.”
With Auburn, Alabama, LSU and UAB among the schools he’s looking at right now with the Blazers a serious threat after his older brother Tyler Johnston committed to Coach Bill Clark’s program, Johnston said at the moment he doesn’t have any favorites as he heads into the spring of his junior year. With no timetable to make a decision he said there are certain things he’ll be looking for as he begins to look for his future home.
“I want to feel welcomed,” Johnston said. “Academics are important. I want a family atmosphere like Auburn. UAB has that atmosphere. Alabama, I know a couple of people up there that welcome me in. I just want to feel welcome.
“I’m blessed,” he added. “I couldn’t do it without God, my teammates, my coaching staff,” Johnston said. “It’s a blessing just to have the opportunities in front of me.”