- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
When ESPN 300 quarterback and Auburn commitment Jeremy Johnson (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) found out that AU head coach Gene Chizik had been fired, he immediately called his friend and teammate, 2014 Watch List linebacker Shaun Hamilton.
“He called me as soon as it happened,” Hamilton said. “He was like, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘I need to be asking you that. I’ve got one more year to think about it.’ We’re going to see what we’re going to do.”
Hamilton said Johnson has already been looking at LSU and Ole Miss and that he will probably visit both schools in the near future, once their seasons wrap up.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound signal caller has been advised not to talk about the situation at this time, but he did relay via text message that he’s still committed to Auburn for now.
For Hamilton, the news of Chizik’s departure came as a surprise.
“I was shocked,” he said. “Every time I would go up there, they would tell me he’s not going anywhere and all that kind of stuff. It just shows that you can’t put all your trust into a coach.”
Before Hamilton opened his recruitment up after a recent visit to Florida, he had Auburn and Clemson as his top two schools. The attraction towards Auburn is going to change until they hire a new coach.
“The new coach, that’s going to play a big role if I’m going to still like them or not,” Hamilton said. “I’m not going to keep liking them when I don’t know who the new coach is, so I’ll just wait and see who they get as their next coach.”
Over the weekend, Hamilton visited Clemson for the South Carolina game. It was his second trip there but his first game experience.
“It was nice,” he said. “The fans, tailgating, all that stuff I didn’t know they had a huge fan base like that. The game was hyped, and the fans were standing the whole time. I really enjoyed it.”
After the game, Hamilton talked with CU head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables about the opportunity to play early. The 6-foot-1, 224-pound linebacker is just a junior this year, but Clemson already believes he has the talent to compete as a freshman.
“I talked to Coach Swinney and Coach Venables, and they were like, ‘You saw how many tackles were being missed by linebackers,’” Hamilton said. They kept on telling me linebacker is a need, and they think that I can play right away if I were to go there.”
Both Hamilton and Johnson are just one win away from the state title game. On Friday, Carver High School will host Opelika in the AHSAA Class 6A semifinals.