FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Four-star linebacker Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) is the No. 2 inside linebacker in the country, and with Reuben Foster’s recent move to Auburn High School in Alabama, Johnson is now the top inside linebacker in the Peach State. Since the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t sign a player at that position in the 2012 recruiting class, it seems a head-scratcher that Johnson, who lives 40 miles away from Athens, doesn’t have an offer from the Bulldogs.
“I don’t hear from them too often,” Johnson said. “I heard from them in the spring but since then I haven’t heard from them too much. They were recruiting me before, back when I was hearing from everybody and I was going on visits and all that. Then I kind of committed to Auburn and it kind of died down.”
His commitment to the Tigers has not deterred everyone.
“I hear from USC, Miami, Notre Dame and Penn State,” Johnson said. “Those are the schools that are on me pretty hard.”
The ESPN 150 linebacker says he is not wavering yet.
“I am really committed,” Johnson said. “The only way you can sway me away from Auburn is to pretty much outdo them in everything that made me want to commit and go there -- the atmosphere, the fan base, how well I fit into the scheme they run and what their plans are for me when I get there. They want me to come in and make an impact on the defense right away.”
It would seem a tough sales pitch to beat. Johnson says the Tigers have big plans for him, but could another program have even bigger plans?
“That is what I want to see,” Johnson said. “If they can get bigger, then that would be real good.”
Statements like that could make the Auburn coaches nervous. That and the fact that Johnson will attend Georgia’s Dawg Night camp July 13.
“I will show up because it is not too far away,” Johnson said. “I’ll just come by to see everybody and show my face. I've got The Opening coming up, so after that I am just going to go up there and chill.”
Johnson has heard the wild rumors and is quick to point out that his attendance is partly to see the players he knows and partly to talk to the Georgia coaches, something he hasn’t been able to do often.
“Georgia wasn’t really recruiting in the season,” Johnson said. “They stopped so they could focus on their season so I didn’t hear from them at all. But after that they came by and stuff like that. In the spring they can’t talk to us so I didn’t really get a chance to sit down and talk to them. But later they said, ‘We want you to come by just so you can see it again since it has been a long time since you came up.’ ”
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Under Armour All-American might run into Foster at Dawg Night, as Foster indicated he might attend as well. Johnson says Foster is deserving of all the accolades he receives.
“He is a great player -- phenomenal,” Johnson said. “I have played with him at camps. He is real athletic for his size. He is more of an inside guy while I am trying to be more of a hybrid linebacker. So that is main difference between us -- me trying to be a safety-type linebacker. Ever since my sophomore year I have tried to be good in the pass and the run. The main thing is I try to be real versatile. I try to do everything.”