March 1, 2010

Peach LB has Tide among favorites

Back in January, Gainesville (GA) linebacker A.J. Johnson broke the hearts of over a dozen schools when he decided to make an early commitment to Lane Kiffin and the Tennessee Volunteers. But when Kiffin left Knoxville for the West Coast, the 6-foot-3, 226-pound linebacker decided to open his recruitment back up. Now with over a dozen schools pursuing the elite defender, a group of six schools have emerged as the early favorites.

"Right now, I would say my top six are Clemson, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, USC and Georgia Tech," said Johnson. "Those are all my early favorites but it's possible that if somebody else offered me that I was really interested in, the list could change. I really don't have a timetable on when I'm going to make any decisions. I feel like a lot is still happening every week and I really need to let things settle down and then see where I'm at before I decide to move forward."

Johnson, a friend and teammate of Alabama signee Blake Sims, has kept himself busy this spring with multiple sports in addition to the bevy of recruiting attention he's received.

"I just finished basketball season and now I'm getting into track season. Spring is kind of busy for me but I'm going to make sure I take time to see some of the schools that have offered me."

"I'm heading to Alabama this Saturday. They haven't started spring practice yet but they players are all heavy into workouts right now getting ready for the spring. It will be cool to see how intense those players are in the weight room and see what life is like during the offseason for those guys."

"I've seen a lot of the facilities there before. I went to a three-day camp last summer and got a chance to see the weight room and the football building but they weren't being used when I was there. It will be cool to see everything with the players there training."

While Johnson is pleased to have so many options when it comes to a college choice, the fast pace of the recruiting process has made it difficult to zero in on a top choice. Johnson said he plans to wait until recruiting has begun to slow down before he begins to narrow his list any further.

"There were a couple of slow weeks but recruiting kind of picked back up for me again the last two weeks and I had a few more offers come in. Things really haven't slowed down for me yet long enough for me to stop and really sort things out."

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