Mobile, Ala.--With Auburn Tigers defensive line a strength this spring led by a strong group of veterans, it’s part of the game that stands out to players hoping to follow in their footsteps in the coming years. One of those prospects is four-star defensive end Ryan Johnson from St. Paul’s.
A physical player that has the athleticism to make plays in the opponent’s backfield, Johnson was on hand for Auburn’s A-Day game on Saturday and left impressed by what he saw from the Tigers.
“It was just great being back up there and seeing how the team plays against each other during the spring game,” Johnson said. “It was a good time.
“Coach (Rodney) Garner is a great coach and he definitely puts them in a position to succeed. It was a great thing to see how they play and I could fit into their system.”
Fitting in could be the key for an incoming freshman with the Tigers losing some key players after the 2016 season such as Montravius Adams, Devaroe Lawrence and Maurice Swain. With the expectations that Carl Lawson will be done after this coming season as well that means some new faces up front for Auburn’s defense.
Many of those guys are already on campus getting a head start such as true freshmen Marlon Davidson and Antwuan Jackson. Throw in incoming freshmen Derrick Brown and Nick Coe and it’s a group with plenty of potential and one that Johnson said he’s already very familiar with.
“Knowing them, that’s definitely a big thing,” Johnson said. “Playing against Marlon and then knowing Derrick and Antwuan just from being up there so much, that’s definitely a good thing because they can tell me what to do and what not to do.”
With Auburn very high on his list along with Alabama, Stanford, Duke, Michigan and Notre Dame, Johnson said he plans to cut down his list of schools after spring practice. Saying that Auburn is showing him how much of a priority he is, Johnson said there’s plenty to like about the Tigers right now.
“Auburn is definitely on my top few schools,” Johnson said. “Always that first one is a big one and like my favorite school since I was a kid. They definitely have a lot of good things to offer so they are in a good position for me.”