Auburn has lost another high-prized commitment from Georgia.
Trey Johnson, a 4-star linebacker from Central Gwinnett High School, de-committed from Auburn on Tuesday, according to his coach.
“In talking with Trey and his dad, they feel like it’s time to de-commit because they don’t even know who Trey is committed to at Auburn (without a new coach hired),” Central Gwinnet coach Todd Wofford told the AJC.
“Trey wanted to be fair to himself, and to be fair to the schools that are recruiting him. It is two months away from signing day, and he’s not in a position where he can wait to see what coach Auburn may hire, what defense they may run, and things like that.
Johnson’s de-commitment doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Ever since Gene Chizik was frequently mentioned as being on the hotseat, Johnson had openly communicated with other colleges.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder went on an official visit this past weekend to Ohio State, which is rumored to be the new frontrunner. Urban Meyer visited Johnson at school two weeks ago.
When asked if Ohio State was Johnson’s leader, his coach said, “That was his first official visit, and Trey had a great time up there.”
The other top contenders are Florida, USC and Penn State. Johnson will take an official visit to Florida on Dec. 15 and to USC on Jan. 18. He is still working out a date with Penn State, and he may save his final visit for Auburn.
Auburn has had shaky relationship with Johnson since he committed to the Tigers two summers ago. A major factor in Johnson selecting Auburn was defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who was not retained after the 2011 season. Then Johnson built another connection with first-year defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who was part of Chizik’s staff.
“Ted Roof, being a Central Gwinnett graduate, that was a big draw for Trey to Auburn at the time,” Wofford said. “He took a hit from that. Then there’s this deal. So it’s kind of happened twice. Trey has seen the business side of college football probably more than any other recruit. He got close to two different defensive coordinators that were let go. He tried to make it work but now it’s time for Trey to look out what is best for him and his family.”
On Sunday night, longtime Auburn commit Ja’Quay Williams backed off the Tigers. Williams, who is enrolled at prep school and played wide receiver at Sandy Creek High School last year, has taken official visits to UGA and Texas A&M the past two weekends.
There are also rumblings that three other Auburn commitments from Georgia — Milton High School DE Carl Lawson, Lovejoy High School TE AJ Jackson and former Troup High School LB Reuben Foster — may also be re-opening their recruitment.
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