- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- As ESPN 150 linebacker Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) was announced as the latest participant in the Under Armour All-American game, he knew that a tough decision lies ahead.
While he has been committed to Auburn for over a year, the four-star prospect wants to make sure he makes the right choice in a college.
“I just want to see if something sticks out,” Johnson said. “If I see a place that is different and I like it, then I will have to take a closer look and make sure I am going to the right place.”
Last weekend, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior was in Gainesville to see Florida defeat South Carolina 44-11. Johnson liked what he saw.
“I had a good visit to Florida and I enjoyed myself a lot,” Johnson said. “The fans really stood out because they were rowdy and hyped up throughout the game. I like playing in front of a whole bunch of people who are really into the game, and that is something Florida had. It was my first time seeing Florida play and I got to see a great atmosphere. I just need to get back and see more about what they have to offer.”
Over the next few months, the No. 129 prospect in the country will take his five official visits, to Ohio State on Nov. 23 for the Michigan game, to Florida in December, to USC on Jan. 18, to Penn State and his final visit to Auburn. He discussed why each program has earned an official.
“Penn State has a linebacker tradition there and I have a really good relationship with Ted Roof, who played linebacker here at Central Gwinnett,” Johnson said. “USC has great linebacker tradition going back to when they had Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga come through. Ohio State has a big tradition and I talk to Urban Meyer a lot. I have a great relationship with Coach [Luke] Fickell. Florida is doing really good right now, it is not too far away, and they have been on me since the beginning. Auburn has always been like home.”
Johnson said Auburn has asked to be his last official, which could be vital in securing his signature in February. The Tigers have endured a rough season, going 1-6 so far.
“Auburn is trying to stay positive and keep everything on a good note,” Johnson said. “They do not want to sound negative about any players or coaches, but they just keep telling me how they need a little more help from guys like me and they will be good.”
The upcoming official visits will be key for any school hoping to beat out the Tigers for the standout linebacker.
“One of these schools will have to outdo them in almost everything,” Johnson said. ‘They would need to show me how I fit better into their scheme, how their school is a better fit, outshine them and just have more pros than cons. The linebacker tradition is really important to me too because Central Gwinnett has a big tradition as well, being the oldest school in Gwinnett County. So I kind of want to stick with that.”
In seven games this season, Johnson has 93 tackles, two sacks and an interception. Shellie Olds-Johnson, Trey’s mom, said she is looking forward to having extra food in the house after her high-motor son heads off to college.
“Wherever he ends up, we will be rooting for him,” Olds-Johnson said.
5dChantel Jennings and Kevin Gemmell