2017 Spanish Fort (Ala.) inside linebacker Thomas Johnston has all but put his recruitment on hold during his senior season. While he will take some official visits, most of it will likely be handled after his season.
“I’m just going to take my time with my decision after the season and let God take care of it,” Johnston said. “I’m going to figure it out and take my officials.”
Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, Iowa, Cal, UAB and NC State are all in on the four-star linebacker. LSU has been recruiting Johnston since Kevin Steele was the defensive coordinator and now, Steele is at Auburn where he's offering the same thing as he did at LSU.
“When coach Steele was at LSU, that’s who offered me at camp. I’ve always liked coach Steele since then and we’ve kept up with each other. The opportunity there is to get on the field early. Same thing at LSU. He told me that the opportunity is there as well.”
LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is now monitoring Johnston and likes him to fit in LSU's 3-4 defense.
“He says to just keep playing and he wants me to come on a visit with Justin. He wants to see me produce over the season and see where it goes.”
Teammate Justin Thomas is committed to LSU and the pair have talked about playing together at the next level.
“He loves LSU and we’ve always talked about playing together and the opportunity is there," the 6-2, 220-pound linebacker said. “I love LSU’s defense. They’re wild, they have fun with it, and the atmosphere there is great.”
Scout's No. 13 overall inside linebacker will visit Arkansas vs. Ole Miss, Auburn vs. Clemson, and LSU vs. Alabama for games with Arkansas being an official visit with Thomas joining him on those trips.
At LSU, the whole goal would be to get on the field early.
“I love the crazy atmosphere, the opportunity to get on the field early and to really, be a difference maker. I don’t want to be another number. I want to be someone people look up to and be a leader."
Johnston said he needs to work on all the little things, which are what separates him from being the best he can. He'd love to leave Spanish Fort with yet another state title.
“Playing with my brothers and getting after it. It’d be nice to walk out with four state championships.”
His coach Ben Blackmon said whatever school lands Johnston will get a great leader.
“He’s going to bring a lot of leadership and energy. He’s a great football player, tackler, versatile inside or outside the box,” Blackmon said.