Johnson, Saban have 'strong' relationship

Kerryon Johnson

Kerryon Johnson is one of the top class of 2015 prospects in the South and he's already one of the best in the state of Alabama regardless of class. With a few offers already on the table, he took a trip to Tuscaloosa over the weekend to experience Alabama's Junior Day where he met with Nick Saban once again.

"I enjoyed the weekend," said Kerryon Johnson after returning home from Alabama's Junior Day.

"I got to talk to the coaches a little bit more," he added. "I got to see and meet the new coaches and I finally got to see the new weight room, it was impressive. I have been there a few times, but I was still impressed."

The sophomore standout from Madison Academy (Ala.) has been on the Crimson Tide's radar for over a year now, and he's becoming a more national recruit by the week considering he's already been given verbal scholarship offers by Florida State, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Many think Alabama will add its name to that list sooner than later. Nick Saban has been on the 6-foot, 185-pounder the whole way through, and he showed up at Madison Academy to speak with him personally in January. This time around, the talk was about whether Johnson would play running back or defensive back in college.

"When I talked to coach Saban, he said they're not going to make a guy play any position," he said. "They said ‘we can suggest it, but it's wherever you want to play.' I'm still thinking running back, that's my main priority."

Johnson, himself, felt like more of a priority on this Junior Day trip as opposed to last year's, when he was just another new face at the big event.

"I did feel special because last time I went, I really didn't get to talk to the coaches much since I was a freshman," he admitted. "They had a lot of other people to talk to. But this time, they spent more time with me and that was really great."

Saban had plenty to do with the special feeling and the relationship between the two continues to grow.

"I feel like it's very great and very strong," said Johnson of his relationship with the coach. "When we were talking, he said ‘I came to your school, I don't just do that for anybody.'

"I definitely feel like I've been blessed with an opportunity that other people don't have. I have to take advantage of it."


Johnson was named MVP of the 3A state title game in December.

Despite the rapport each is establishing with one another, the versatile Johnson didn't land that coveted scholarship offer this time around.

"They didn't talk about an offer but they said they're definitely still recruiting me," said the sophomore. "They let me know I'm on the top of their board. I'm one of their top players; I'm just going to give it some time."

Does the lack of an offer set Alabama back in Johnson's eyes?

"It's something to think about since I don't have an offer, but if they weren't interested I wouldn't have been to the Junior Day or the camps or the games," he said. "But it's early in the process, it's not like I'm going to be committing any time soon anyways."

While more visits may be on the horizon to Alabama and other schools, especially ones that have yet to offer, Johnson is focused on continuing to rehab his recently surgically repaired shoulder. He tore his labrum during basketball season last month.

"I'm trying to get my shoulder back to full strength, that's my main focus," he admitted. "This spring, I won't be able to play but I can practice, just no contact. For the summer, I'll go to a few camps like Alabama and Florida State's."

The rehab has been very promising thus far.

"I didn't have much of any pain besides the first day I got out," Johnson added. "The rest has been okay, in the few weeks I'll be on to the hard stuff. So far, though, the rehab has been great. I'm still trying to get my basic movement back.

"I'm ahead of where I'm supposed to be in movement and flexibility, so I'm doing good."

autigers.com Recommended Stories