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Lambert's Jeremy Johnson commits to play baseball at Auburn

POSTED: August 5, 2014 6:18 p.m.
Micah Green/Forsyth County News

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Jeremy Johnson was scheduled to visit the University of Alabama next week.

That is, until Auburn found out about it.

"Coach [Sunny] Golloway called my summer baseball coach, saying he was interested in me," Johnson said. "He said he had heard some great things about me and wanted to know if it was possible to get me on a quick visit."

The Lambert High School outfielder agreed.

That was Tuesday. Less than 24 hours later, Johnson was offered a scholarship to play baseball at Auburn University.

Despite all the college visits this summer and all the attention paid to him over his Lambert career in both baseball and football, the full-ride offer was the first Johnson had received from a SEC program.

"The funny thing is," he said, "They haven’t even seen me play yet."

Regardless, Johnson committed on the spot, canceling the rest of his campus visits for the summer, including the trip to Tuscaloosa.

"I just fell in love with Auburn," he said. "They talked about giving me a chance to play early and a chance to get drafted. They have a great communications program, which is what I want to major in. It just all seemed right."

It probably doesn’t hurt that his father grew up on The Plains, and his grandparents still own a house there.

The move takes a lot of pressure off Johnson, letting him focus on his senior year. No more wondering, no more trips, no more uncertainty.

"As far as I’m concerned, I am pretty much set," he said. "I don’t see myself changing my mind."

Even though he’ll be playing just baseball at Auburn, as of right now, nothing is going to change for his senior season of football, according to Johnson.

"I’m still going to go all out and try to help my team win the best I can," he said. "… But I really just want to enjoy this last year of football because I’ve been playing since I was in third grade. I know I’m going to miss it."

Golloway, Auburn’s head baseball coach, just finished his first year on The Plains, coming over from the University of Oklahoma, where he had spent the previous eight seasons.

Although Auburn didn’t make it to the Southeastern Conference tournament this past season, Johnson has high hopes for Golloway’s program and trusts they can turn it around.

Losing, as far as baseball is concerned anyway, is not something Johnson is used to as of late.

During his junior season with Lambert, he helped lead the Longhorns to a state title, the school’s first in the sport.

Despite Auburn’s showing last season, Johnson thinks the program is trending in the right direction.

"Golloway is trying to change the whole dynamic at Auburn and I wanted to be a part of that," he said. "He cares about winning, and it would be nice to get another ring.

"They are bringing in a good recruiting class and when you keep bringing in good players, your school is eventually going to get better."

In the car Wednesday afternoon on the way back from Auburn, Johnson sounded content and confident in his choice. And in a way only a humble, grounded athlete could, he shifted the focus from himself to a higher power.

"Ultimately, I want to thank God. Because I have been praying about it a lot and I really have found some peace with this decision," he said. "He is the reason all this has happened."

 

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