Junior Linebacker Hearing From AU, Others

Following a productive junior season, A.J. Johnson talks about his interest in Auburn and other colleges.

Gainesville, Ga.--A.J. Johnson, who is expected to be one of the top linebacker prospects in the state of Georgia this fall, is looking for a collegiate home again after deciding last fall where he wanted to go.

The Gainesville High standout committed to the former University of Tennessee coaching staff in October, but de-committed in January when Coach Lane Kiffin skipped out on the Vols and took the job as head coach at Southern Cal.

"Recruiting is going good," Johnson tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I have had a chance to see a lot of places and talk to a lot of coaches."

A.J. Johnson

One of the recent visitors to his high school was Auburn defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Ted Roof. Johnson says that Auburn is one of the colleges he is considering.

"When I first started getting into recruiting that is one of the first places I went," he says of Auburn. "I went down there and watched a scrimmage and I liked it."

Johnson says that Clemson, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Southern Cal and Tennessee are other colleges under consideration. "All of them have offered me," notes Johnson, who says he believes he finished his junior year with around 180 tackles on defense while scoring TDs on an interception and a fumble return.

"The season went good, but we were one point away from winning state so it wasn't the perfect season like everybody wanted," the linebacker says.

Standing between 6-2 and 6-3 and weighing 230 pounds, Johnson stays busy athletically. "I play basketball, track and I am trying out for soccer, too," he notes. "I am the five (center) on the basketball team. I am just real strong."

Johnson, who notes that he is still growing, says he expects to play both ways as a senior. "Last year in the beginning of the season I played both ways," he says. "I played receiver in addition to linebacker, but linebacker is my best position. I played weakside linebacker in a 3-4."

A prospect with the size and quickness to play any linebacker position, Johnson wants to make a big splash as a senior. "My goal is to be the number one linebacker in the nation," he says.

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