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August 6, 2014

Big DT commits


LINCOLN | Auburn's wait for its first defensive line commitment in the 2015 recruiting class is over.

And the Tigers have Lincoln's (Ala.) Jauntavius Johnson to thank for it.

The massive three-star prospect, listed at 6-foot-3 and 323 pounds, committed to Auburn on Wednesday during a ceremony at Lincoln High School.

Johnson chose the Tigers over offers from Alabama, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Louisville.

Johnson sat down at a table in the Lincoln High cafeteria, put on an Alabama hat, took it off, and put on an Auburn hat. He then took off the Auburn hat, said "It just ain't right" and walked out of the room.

Moments later, he returned with an Auburn shirt and hat on to a loud applause from around 100 people in attendance.

"It just feels like a place that feels like home if I had to go there today," Johnson said of choosing Auburn.

Auburn had been the frontrunner for Johnson since a visit for Big Cat Weekend in June, but it wasn't until Tuesday night that he felt "100 percent" about his decision.

"When I fell asleep last night, I felt happy," said Johnson. "I closed the door and sat there and thought about it to myself."

Johnson informed Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner moments before his announcement.

"He sounded happy," said Johnson. "He said I have to keep working. He said, 'The limit is yours. You have to work to get what you want.'"

Johnson said that wouldn't be a problem.

"I want to go work. I'm willing to work," he said. "I'm not taking anything for granted."

Johnson said he considered many things when making his college choice. In the end, they all pointed to Auburn.

"The first reason is it felt like home," he said. "Another reason, I spent a long time thinking about what I should be, an in-state boy or an away-boy, I thought about that. That was another reason. Another was for my family, making them happy as to where they could travel to see me play."

Johnson's mother, father, uncles, aunts and grandparents were all in attendance Wednesday for his announcement. They all, he said, are happy with his choice.

More importantly, so is he.

"It's a great feeling," he said. "A great feeling for me, the community and my family. Most of all, I'm happy."

Johnson is Auburn's 19 commitment in the 2015 class.

Rivals.com rates Johnson the No. 15 prospect in Alabama and the No. 28 defensive tackle in the country.

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