Alabama freshman offered by Venables

Earlier this spring, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables offered linebacker Thomas Johnston.

LB Thomas Johnston Profile

As a freshman at Spanish Fort High School in Alabama, Johnston registered 50 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Venables offered in March.

"Coach Venables, he got a hold of my head coach and coach [Mark] Freeman told me to call him, so I called him and we talked for about 45 minutes and he offered me," he told CUTigers, during a recent interview.

How did that conversation go?

"We were just talking about what sports I play and what I do. He told me they were going to offer me and I was just excited," Johnston said.

Exactly where Johnston would play in the Clemson linebacker corps will depend on how he develops over the next few years. He currently checks in at 6-2, 205 pounds.

For him, there's plenty of intrigue about Clemson.

"They've got a winning program right now," Johnston said. "They were in the Top 10 and I like the traditional walk out that they have. I love how they're a winning program and always in the mix to win a national championship."

A trip to Tigertown is in the works.

"I plan on, hopefully, getting down there this summer," he said.

That won't be his only visit of the summer.

"I think the first weekend I'm going to Iowa to visit family and I'll take a visit to the University of Iowa, so we're going to go there and LSU, and then Auburn, I think. I might try to make it back up to Oklahoma," Johnston said.

Earlier this month, N.C. State offered when they were by the school. Clemson defensive ends coach Marion Hobby has also been through, so have coaches from LSU, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Navy.

Several factors will be considered by Johnston as he works through the next few years on the recruiting trail.

"I want to have a good, solid academic school. I want to have a family-type of environment with my coaches and players, and have a winning school," he said. Top Stories