Trey Johnson is an extremely talented 4-star linebacker recruit and he's committed to play football for the Auburn Tigers.
In a recruiting class that features 5-star inside linebacker Reuben Foster, 5-star weak-side defensive end Carl Lawson, and 5-star strong-side defensive end Dee Liner, it could be easy to overlook a 4-star player like Johnson, but believe you me, he's going to be just as much a part of Auburn's future as those three elite recruits will be.
Johnson has what it takes to be a great linebacker for Auburn.
Here's a breakdown of the skill set Johnson will be bringing to the Auburn Tigers:
Frankly, if I had a say in star rankings, I would make a case that Johnson could be a 5-star player. That's how impressed I was watching his clips.
He's an extremely athletic and fluid linebacker, which is something that not everybody will talk about. Sometimes, linebackers have the tendency to play stiff and rigid, knowing that their job is to come down hard against the run, but Johnson displays a ton of agility while not losing any of that power you're looking for.
He comes down and plays strong at the line of scrimmage, and is able to take on a running back or blocker head on at the point of attack. He displays great footwork and a very strong first read step.
You can see below how his first step is forward to the line of scrimmage on a run read, which allows him to get up to the hole much quicker.
He then is able to use his arm to stay off the blocker, which allows him to maintain his gap integrity and stay out of wash (flow of the blocks).
Finally, he uses his speed and angle of pursuit to get underneath the pull, while the ball is still behind it, and he makes a great tackle.
This is a great example of the athleticism, strength and football instincts Johnson brings to the table as a linebacker. He's also very good moving laterally to the line of scrimmage.
He takes good angles which allow him to scrape over to gaps and get to the ball-carrier before he can get to the second level, and he he flows to the ball very well.
Like I said, he's a very fluid linebacker, but he has all the strength and ability to make big plays at the line of scrimmage as well.
What would you rank Johnson as?
It's easy to predict that Johnson will have a ton of success at Auburn, especially playing with Foster, Liner and Lawson. Great players make players around them better, and Johnson is going to be in the position to make a ton of plays, as offenses will have no choice but to focus on where the three 5-stars are lining up on every play.
Johnson has the skill set to make those plays and more, and he's going to be an integral part of that front seven that is already shaping up to be very dominant.
He may not get the hype some of the others in his class are getting, but he certainly deserves it.