On Saturday, Georgia Tech hosted its Junior Day which included some of the top prospects in the state. One of these top prospects in attendance was A.J. Johnson. "I got to talk to all the coaches," A.J. said, "and I got to talk to the new defensive coordinator (Coach Al Groh), and he wasn't really telling me all about Georgia Tech because he was just getting there. We run the same defense (at Gainesville HS) that he runs and he was telling me how I fit into their defense. He told me I was one of the top candidates for his defense. He was telling me how I could fit into all of the spots, and was telling me how good I'd be and how much I could contribute to the team."
Many schools like A.J. as a defensive end, but Coach Al Groh might have different plans for him. He talked about that and about which position he would prefer to play:
"Jack linebacker. It's like the weakside, inside linebacker. That's what I play at my high school. Really, I want to stay at linebacker, too, because that's the position I've been playing my whole life. I love linebacker. But, if defensive end were to get me on the field faster and to help me get to the league, then that'd be fine."
Johnson also talked with Coach Paul Johnson on his visit. Coach Johnson was able to give him a lot of information. "Yeah we talked a good bit," A.J. said, "It was good. We had good conversation. They really want me down there. It was exciting."
Southern Cal, Tennessee, Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma State, NC State, and Mississippi are some of the other schools that have offered A.J. along with Georgia Tech. He was originally committed to Tennessee to Lane Kiffin's staff and now that Kiffin is at USC, Johnson says he might like to visit out there because he's never been on the west coast. As for visits already scheduled, he is planning on getting to Clemson and Florida next. As for top schools currently, Johnson gave a short list:
"I'd say Clemson, USC, Florida, Alabama, and Miami. Probably those right now... and Georgia Tech, of course."
While he's got plenty of schools to choose from, there are certain things he'll be looking for that one school to have. "It's got to have a good atmosphere," he says, "academics are important where the coaches are making sure you're getting your work in. And of course they got to have a good football team because I want to win stuff when I go to college."
The two hometown schools, Georgia and Georgia Tech, each hosted Junior Days on Saturday. So why might have A.J. chose to attend Georgia Tech? Rumor has it that Georgia didn't even invite the high profile athlete who lives down the road. "Oh, I don't have a comment about Georgia," he explained.