One of state’s top college prospects for 2012 commits early to Auburn (UPDATED)

Milton High's Shaquille Johnson (pictured), along with Miller Grove's Brandon Morris, are my early favorites to win the AJC Slam Dunk Contest (AJC)

Milton High's Shaquille Johnson (pictured), along with Miller Grove's Brandon Morris, are my early favorites to win the AJC Slam Dunk Contest (AJC)

If you’ve watched Milton High play this season this season, Shaquille Johnson is easy to spot. He’s the one who plays “above the rim,” leaping over much taller players for rebounds and his trademark dunks.

On Saturday night, Johnson jumped forward with his college decision, committing to Auburn.

The 6-foot-4 guard was also considering early offers from Georgia State and Liberty, among others, and had high interest from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Clemson.

“I have good relationships with [the Auburn coaches] and I feel like I can go in there and get good minutes as a freshman,” Johnson told the AJC.

Milton High coach David Boyd said Auburn got a steal with Johnson, who averages 8 points and 6 rebounds, while shooting 68 percent from the field. “He’s a great athlete, a great shot blocker … very unselfish.”

Johnson doesn’t start for Milton (which oh by the way is back in the race for a mythical national championship if you haven’t noticed) but that says more about Milton’s incredulous depth. Milton returned all five starters from last year’s team that won the state championship in Georgia’s largest classification, including point guard Shannon Scott (signed with Ohio State, recently named McDonald’s All-America), forward Julian Royal (Georgia Tech), guard Dai-Jon Parker (Vanderbilt) and guard Jordan Loyd (Furman). The other starter — swingman Evan Nolte — is one of the nation’s 2012 prospects.

Johnson is a transfer from Salem High who is the team’s “sixth man” or first person off the bench. He will obviously see a vastly expanded role next year as a senior.

Related: Mark Richt and UGA recruits Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell make special tribute to deceased Valdosta High football player

43 comments Add your comment

red

February 13th, 2011
2:49 am

First! I think.

red

February 13th, 2011
2:50 am

Awe yeah, I’m a loser!

Palm City Dawg

February 13th, 2011
8:33 am

Did we not want this guy?

phil

February 13th, 2011
8:47 am

“Johnson is a transfer from Salen High. . . . ” That essentially explains Milton’s basketball program. Raid other school’s athletes because Milton basketball can’t win with their own homegrown athletes.

Bjohndawg

February 13th, 2011
10:02 am

Nothing but a transfer school
more impressed with schools that win with players
from the area and not hired guns

Toan

February 13th, 2011
10:42 am

Phil, why can’t you just accept someone is talented. Milton Hershey doesn’t go out and buy players like the yankees do. Kids want to transfer there because of the education and the athletic programs. When you know something about sports, then, enlighten us with your opinion. I guess someone is just a little sour they never got or will never get to the college level!

Bama Fan #2

February 13th, 2011
10:59 am

Well he can sweep the floors after the barn gets blown out after every home game!!!!!!!!!

MikeP

February 13th, 2011
11:02 am

Great pickup for Auburn. New Auburn coach Tony Barbee is putting together an Auburn program that is headed up. Just look at the way they play with nobody on the team that even had an offer from another SEC school. As soon as some of his signees join the team, the sky’s the limit!

Bob

February 13th, 2011
11:03 am

stay classy bammer fan #2

sandman053

February 13th, 2011
11:48 am

Kid sounds like the genuine deal….too bad we didn’t offer him anything at UGA

Boz

February 13th, 2011
12:37 pm

Don’t you mean “incredible,” not “incredulous?” You’re a journalist. If you don’t know what a word means, why are you using it?

bamaguy

February 13th, 2011
12:55 pm

If he is that good, why would he want to go to Auburn to play basketball? Why wouldn’t he want to go to a top basketball school (Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, even Florida)?

FromtheBARstool

February 13th, 2011
1:15 pm

Don’t count on Auburn being the letter he signs in the end. He will get better offers from easier schools probably. He will not sign with an ACC school or Florida or Vandy( to hard to get in) or The Vols because they will be in bad trouble soon. I think Memphis might make a late push.

[...] flying 6′-4″ wing Shaquille Johnson of Milton (GA) tripped to Auburn, and made the call. ┬áJohnson is an above the rim player whose talent is somewhat hidden on such a loaded team. [...]

MikeP

February 13th, 2011
3:11 pm

FromtheBARstool says this guy doesn’t have the grades to get into an SEC school. He knows this because…???

That’s what I thought. Maybe it’s time for him to have another drink.

FromtheBARstool

February 13th, 2011
3:19 pm

MikeP not all SEC schools just Vandy & Florida. The Vols will be on Probation fast enough. Auburn is better than a Mississippi school or LSU because it is closer. I said he couldn’t get in ACC schools. No Chance.

George robinson

February 13th, 2011
5:12 pm

I wish the kid the best with with futher

Au Truth

February 13th, 2011
6:43 pm

It makes perfect sense a crap basketball team would get a top prospect. Hmmmm…sounds like someone is getting “cam” paid.

Coach O

February 13th, 2011
7:04 pm

Congratulations Shaquille, I remember when I knew you had the ‘it’ factor when you stepped on the court when you were in the seventh grade when I was an assistant coach for East DeKalb rec team. I know you will do well at Auburn, or wherever you decide to sign. Enjoy the moment and good luck to you.

Bitter daws fan

February 13th, 2011
7:27 pm

bought and payed for by L.A(AKA=Lower Alabamma)–Auburn you people love this market but it will be your undoing—your pure REDneck greed!!!

Shook Jorten

February 13th, 2011
7:37 pm

That’s incredulous!!

UGA_2001

February 13th, 2011
7:41 pm

These Milton kids are idiots. One goes to GT when they are obviously firing their coach soon. Another shuns offers everywhere to play in the lame Big 10 and another commit to play hoops at Auburn??

Who is giving these kids advice? Such bizarre decisions.

marcus

February 13th, 2011
7:58 pm

Nothing against Milton, I hope they win the championship. But can people stop saying kids are transferring to Milton because of their athletics program. Milton academics may be good I really don’t know how they average out so, I am not going to speak on that. but kids were not going to Miltion for athletics and you probably will not here anything about Milton after this year, unless they get some other transfers

K.Conway

February 13th, 2011
9:18 pm

Must be pretty dumb!

cattle dawg

February 13th, 2011
10:02 pm

A top prospect and he has offers from Liberty,GSU,and Auburn?

just the truth

February 13th, 2011
10:21 pm

Make them sit out the first year just like the NCAA and that would stop the recruiting in high school. It’s bid time in football too!

just the truth

February 13th, 2011
10:22 pm

Big instead of bid.

the sham

February 13th, 2011
10:38 pm

I’m not sure what’s up with all the vicious accusations, but I’m happy for the kid. He’s a bench player who doesn’t mind playing his role and getting a chance to showcase his talents on the next level. Kudos to him. Anyone heard of Matt Cassell? Once a backup QB with no starts at USC… now a pro-bowler. Sometime the starters are just that good…

MikeP

February 13th, 2011
11:42 pm

There are 12 schools in the SEC. 11 of them have the exact same entrance requirements for scholarship athletes, which is the same as the NCAA minimum. Only Vanderbilt has entrance requirements for scholarship athletes that are above the NCAA minimum.
The next time somebody tells you something like “He went to Mississippi State because he couldn’t get into Florida academically”, know that they are either ill-informed or else simply not telling the truth.

Milton fan

February 14th, 2011
12:06 am

A really nice kid, a good student athlete who can really ball – mad hops style. you neg people are sicko blog nerds. shame. on yous.

Milton fan

February 14th, 2011
12:12 am

And…I am incredulous…

poornatives

February 14th, 2011
1:09 am

So what happens if you actually grow up in the Milton region and want to play basketball? I feel bad for them… they can’t play for the school they’ve been waiting to play for all their lives!

Milton dad

February 14th, 2011
10:10 am

poornatives – To answer your rhetorical question: you go away to a nice private college and brag to your new friends that your HS team won multiple state championships and was nationally ranked. And, that your rec leaugue teams with players that couldn’t make varsity could beat many lower classification HS teams. Then, you get your degree, a good jopb, marry your college sweetheart, whose parents also have money, have kids and you be sure to live in rural virginia so your kids can make varsity. This is big boy, class AAAAA metro atlanta basketball. its a reality. Glad I could help….

Milton dad #2

February 14th, 2011
11:40 am

Well put Milton dad.

Sigh....

February 14th, 2011
1:36 pm

Great athlete. Terrible basketball player. Literally all he can do is dunk and block shots. He does them well, but he’s a pathetic shooter and a one-handed ballhandler. He won’t see minutes at any college for at least 2 years. Lots of potential, but very, very, very, very raw

MikeP

February 14th, 2011
3:17 pm

Very raw? Then it’s a good thing that he has another summer of AAU ball and a full season as a starter in High School before he gets to Auburn. By then the “raw” will be gone.

Proud Auntie

February 14th, 2011
4:50 pm

I am very proud of my nephew. Not only is he a great athlete, he is very humble and has a great personality. Although Auburn may not have the best basketball team, they have a superb business program.

S. Thomas Coleman

February 14th, 2011
5:31 pm

To “Just the Truth”:

The last time I checked, we live in the United States of America. No matter what your assumptions may be you cannot penalize a kid, whose family moves to another neighborhood, by making him sit out for a season, thereby preventing him/her from playing the sport he/she loves.

Comparing the NCAA rule on transfers (which should be adjusted, in my opinion, to allow for at least one transfer for athletes, since coaches are allowed to job hop) to high school is apples to oranges.

S. Thomas Coleman

Milton dad

February 14th, 2011
6:18 pm

Proud Auntie – you should be proud. He is a great kid, and a very good baller. My son was in weight training class with him last semester. Says he is very clever and nice.
Sigh…. – I agree he is somewhat raw, but not very, very, very, very raw. He will need better ballhandling at 6′4″ in college. I think he will be fine. Great timing and hand/eye. Can’t teach those things.

Langston Hughes DAD

February 15th, 2011
2:44 pm

I hear a lot of negative things and sometimes I voice my opinion too, but that’s what make competing a fun thing. Everyone has their opinion and how and what they would do. I’ve heard he can’t shoot, but he’s the one with the Auburn offer!!!! He must have something or they wouldn’t have entertained him. He will definitely have to improve to get minutes at the college level. Auburn may not be a basketball school, but it’s ultimately about the FREE education. How many D1 athletes make it to the league? So, in the end, get your education paid for. I wish this kid all of the success he can handle. I have a son at Langston Hughes High School that is putting up number, but he’s just 6′1″ with 3.4 GPA, but only small schools are looking at him with no offers, YET. Keep an eye out for Langston Hughes HS. We are in 2-AAAAA then you will say why haven’t Larry Thomas been offered anything? He can shoot it, Defense is there, IQ of the game is high and we are a 2nd year school in our first every post season play. Maybe that’s why? I don’t know, but Good Luck to all of the kids that go to college on an athletic scholarship and get a free education.

Milton dad

February 15th, 2011
7:18 pm

good luck to your son, DAD. And congrats to him on the GPA. and good luck to LHHS. Just not if they play Milton :)

thekshdgk

February 16th, 2011
11:38 pm

look people talk about transfers and i think its stupid the only schools that have home grown talent are the teams in the south all the up north ga teams got new schools being built and all these kids want is a scholarship lmao smh

thekshdgk

February 16th, 2011
11:48 pm

Langston Hughes DAD__ what school would you have gone to if Langston hughes was never built just think how good the westlake team would be if we had some of those guys back and how many offers larry thomas would have and o yeah i played for the westlake football team last year when we went 7-3 and there was a few people on the basketball team should have tranferred to your school and there still are about 4 people that are big impact to todays westlake team that live in the langston huges zone but anyways yall beat us 2 times smh but tell me what is yalls future looking like do yall have talent for next year lhhs idk about westlake i dont know wat happen to our talent