Then Chizik and his Tigers went winless in the SEC this season and fired shortly after their big loss to in-state rival Alabama.
Now he's looking for a home all over again.
"The whole reason why he committed early was to avoid the [recruiting] circus," said Todd Wofford, Central Gwinnett's coach. "It has been crazy lately. We have three to four schools in here every day and they are holding nothing back. It's cut-throat. And the timing is so tight because national signing day is right around the corner."
"I suspect that he will visit Penn State, Florida, and Tennessee in January," Wofford said. "You know [Penn State defensive coordinator] Ted Roof played here and was the first guy to recruit him to Auburn and they have a great relationship. He really likes Florida and has been down to Gainesville a few times. Of course, [Tommy] Thigpen recruited him while at Auburn and he's now at Tennessee. I know they will be trying to get him to visit next month. They are coming in here today."
At the end of the day Wofford believes his star defensive player will choose a place that's stable.
"Absolutely," Wofford said. "My guess that will be what he looks at first, somewhere very stable. That's why I can see him at Ohio State with [Urban] Meyer or at Florida. I don't think [Will] Muschamp is going anywhere."
Johnson, now 6-foot-1 and 220-pounds, finished as Gwinnett County's all-time second leading tackler behind Rennie Curren (Brookwood). Johnson recorded 456 tackles for his career, including 140 this season. He also had 15 tackles for loss, four sacks and an interception for a touchdown.
"The big thing with Trey this season was his speed increased," Wofford said. "We also had a new defensive coordinator who ran a college like defensive scheme. Trey watching a lot more film and was ready each week. He was super this season at reading the play and reacting."