Spanish Fort, Ala.--The all-time leader in tackles in state high school football history and the MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic after making 16 stops, four-star linebacker Thomas Johnston will be on the Auburn campus this weekend to take an official visit with the Tigers.
Breaking former Auburn standout Demarco McNeil’s state record and finishing with more than 675 tackles in his career, including 197 this season, the 6-2, 225 Johnston started 65 consecutive games for the Toros to finish his career.
Now ready to put the finishing touches on his recruiting after already taking visits to Iowa and Arkansas, Johnston will take a trip to the Plains this weekend and he said he can’t wait.
“I’m just coming up there to see what all they’re talking about,” Johnston said. “I’ve been up there enough to know everything about Auburn. I wanted to make sure I took an official visit to them.”
Saying that he’s been in contact with Auburn assistants Travis Williams and Scott Fountain, Johnston is a player who has excelled at linebacker, but could also be a good fit as a fullback/H-Back as well because of his skill set. He said the Tigers are looking at him for either at the moment and have a strong and simple message for him.
“They want me to stay in-state,” Johnston said. “They have guys I have grown up playing with and building relationships with. They said there’s no reason for me to leave if there is the opportunity there for me.
“I’ve always liked Auburn. For them to push harder and harder is awesome.
“They are telling me either side of the ball and if I went there they would figure it out. Right now it’s just a toss-up. They’re going to show me where they see me on the either side of the ball.”
Johnston is shown in action in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game his team won in December.
Making the Tigers even more intriguing for Johnston is the bond ge gas built with many of the guys in this 2017 recruiting class. Playing alongside early enrollee K.J. Britt and fellow four-star linebacker Tadarian Moultry in the Alabama-Mississippi game and teammates with Malcolm Askew and Noah Igbinoghene as well, Johnston said those are the guys he’s ready to see.
“They’re really the reason I wanted to reach out and take an official,” he said. “There are great guys in this class and they’re even better off the field. I wanted to make sure I got to go up there and I have already reached out to K.J. and T.D. and let them know I was headed up there this weekend.”
With a visit planned to Ole Miss on Jan. 20, Johnston said he’s planning to make his decision the week after he takes his trip to Oxford. As to what he’ll be looking for, the record-setting linebacker said it’s all about the fit and distance from home won’t be a factor.
“I want to feel comfortable wherever I’m at,” he said. “I want my family to feel comfortable. Everywhere around the country the academics are strong right now so wherever I got I’ll be blessed to get a degree.
“Really it’s about the relationship I have with a team. You really can’t commit to a coach these days. I just want to feel comfortable going in as a freshman.”