Auburn Football Recruiting: Kerryon Johnson Impresses in State Championship Game


Thursday morning, Madison Academy running back Kerryon Johnson was named Alabama’s 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year, becoming the second consecutive Auburn commit to win the award after Roc Thomas took the honor in 2013.

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A few hours later, Johnson saved one of his best games for last, a 70-34 victory over Dale County in the Alabama Class 3A State Championship Game. And he did it on what is expected to be his home field for the next four years or so.

A committed member of the 2015 Auburn football recruiting class, Johnson found the end zone for the fourth time with 6:34 remaining in the first half. At halftime, Johnson had 191 yards on only eight touches. He finished with 278 yards on 10 touches (including an interception) and a new state record six touchdowns.

Coming in to the state championship game, the high school senior had 1,477 rushing yards and 21 TDs on the ground on 102 carries (that’s a remarkable 14.2 yards per carry, which he exceeded Thursday).

A two-way player, Johnson also made plays on defense. His fifth touchdown in the state title game came on a 31-yard interception return, tying the state title game record. His 53-yard run set a new top mark, and it also put the nail in the coffin for Dale County, increasing Madison Academy’s lead to 56-27.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is listed as an Athlete by 247Sports. Johnson is a four-star prospect in the 247Composite, and is considered a top 50 prospect nationally and the second best player in the state of Alabama.

With Thomas (a five-star recruit in the 2014 class) and incoming junior college transfer Jovon Robinson (the nation’s top rated JUCO player) likely to carry the bulk of the running back duties in 2015, Johnson’s best shot for significant playing time as a true freshman may be on defense.

But he’s confident he’ll have an opportunity to run the ball early.

“It’s not going to be anything new coming into college,” Johnson said after being named an Under Armour All-American. “I’m going to know how to play the position and going to have experience there that a lot of other pure running backs don’t get. I feel like that gives me a chance to get more playing time early, because of the different things I can do.”

“Kerryon Johnson is as good as advertised,” Colbert County head coach Dale Jeffreys said in a press release announcing Johnson’s award. “He is the best player I have ever coached against in 28 years. He is extremely strong, he’s a first-step full-speed guy and he can shake you down at the same time. He can put the team on his back and they don’t lose.”

Johnson is an exciting player, and should excel at the collegiate level. As of now, all signs point towards Auburn as the place that will happen. Despite nothing becoming official until February’s National Signing Day, Johnson has been solid in his commitment to the Tigers.

“This is about as sweet as it can be,” Johnson said after the game. “For me, especially, being able to play here the next four years is huge.”

“…I love it here. Every time I come here it’s a new feeling, a home feeling, but it’s a new one every time. It never gets old. I just love it here.”

Until he officially signs with Auburn, Johnson can enjoy a third straight state championship and a state player of the year award, too.

Next: Recruiting: Four-Star QB Tyler Queen Signs With Auburn

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