Trey Johnson had his mind made up about college, he just needed the final approval from his father.
The Central Gwinnett junior linebacker got it this weekend on a visit to Auburn, committing to the reigning BCS national champion Tigers after making sure his family agreed with his decision. The Johnsons spent a great deal of this year visiting many of the 20-plus schools that offered him early, so they were educated enough to make a college decision even though the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder still has two high school seasons left to play.
"I really wanted to focus on the season and commit," Johnson said. "I already knew where I wanted to go. I always wanted to go to Auburn. They were my favorite after my first visit down there, but after my second visit I knew for sure. Really this visit was just about my dad getting down there and seeing what I've been talking about.
"I really like the at-home atmosphere there. All the guys are real cool. All the coaches have their families around. It's like a real big family there."
Johnson made his decision public Monday, two days after privately committing to the Auburn coaches. The Auburn coach recruiting him is defensive coordinator Ted Roof, a Central Gwinnett grad who played linebacker for Georgia Tech in the mid-1980s.
"We talk about (our Central connection) every now and then," Johnson said. "Now we mainly talk about Auburn. But he always says how much better I am than he was. But from the rumors I hear about him, I'm not even close to his level."
Johnson is certainly getting there.
The middle linebacker had a huge sophomore season with 150 tackles, which led all Gwinnett players during the 10-game regular season. He played last year at 190 pounds, but he bulked up in the offseason and he said he actually improved his speed in the process by training at The Factory.
His credentials earned a wave of early scholarship offers from the nation's top colleges. Johnson visited spring games or summer practices at Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Florida State before deciding on Auburn.
While he can't officially sign with Auburn until February 2013, he isn't interested in looking at other schools.
"I view my commitment as my word," Johnson said. "My word is bond. I'm not a guy to go back on my word."