New Offense Interests AU Official Visitor

A report on an official football recruiting visit to Auburn is featured.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.--Jermaine Johnson's second official visit to Auburn gave the big tackle a glimpse of the Tigers' offensive future. Johnson says he likes what he sees.

Johnson was one of four prospects on the Auburn campus this weekend for official visits. Although fall semester classes were finished and not many students were around, he got to check out preparations for AU's Chick-fil-A Bowl contest.

"Practice was really good," the lineman tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "Everything was very fast-paced. Talking to the coaches, I know that I am going to like the new offense. It looks like a good fit for me and that is the same thing Coach Nall said."

Hugh Nall, Auburn's offensive line coach, and the rest of the AU staff will be conducting practices through Tuesday as the Tigers prepare to face Clemson on New Year's Eve in Atlanta. The offense is under the direction of Tony Franklin, who Auburn officially hired as the new offensive coordinator last week.

Johnson originally signed with Auburn in February as a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale. He did not qualify academically and was placed at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia where he played this fall.

"At Hargrave they are treating me really well, especially with the academics," Johnson says. "In football I have been learning more about the game and developing more confidence in myself. I am looking forward to bringing new stuff to the table."

Johnson, who concentrated on basketball prior to his senior season in high school, says he likes the discipline required at prep school. "It is really tough academically," he says. "There is so much work thrown in your face, but it is good for you. It gets you prepared for college."

Jermaine Johnson is shown at a practice at prep school this fall.

Johnson says he currently checks in at six-foot-six, 309 pounds. "It is a good weight for me," he notes. "I can move pretty fast at this size."

Commenting on his weekend in Auburn, Johnson says, "The visit went very well. I learned a lot more about the academics and what I will need to finish down the stretch. I had a great time. My host was Pat Sims and I am looking forward to coming to Auburn next spring. I am looking forward to playing for Coach Nall. Everything was pretty laid back because everybody is gone from campus."

Johnson, who expects to report to Auburn after finishing classes at Hargrave in May, also got a chance to spend time with his high school teammate, Auburn freshman kicker Wes Byrum. "I talked to Wes on Saturday," the lineman says. "He is a real cool guy."

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