Netori Johnson has known that Friday’s decision would be coming eventually.
Johnson, a four-star offensive lineman from Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood, Ga.), de-committed from Alabama after being committed there since June.
“It’s been talked about for a while now,” Johnson told SEC Country. “I discussed this with my mom and my coaches. We sat down and talked about it. That’s where it came from. I didn’t want to de-commit on signing day. That would have been foul and I would have messed with everyone’s moment, so I decided to wait a few days after.”
The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder had told media for months that he was 100 percent committed to the Crimson Tide, even though he routinely expressed interest in Auburn and Georgia. He says he wasn’t being extremely truthful when he told people just how solid he was with Alabama.
“I just didn’t feel right telling you guys (media) that I was 100 percent with Alabama when I was putting schools at No. 2 and No. 3,” he said. “I wasn’t really 100 percent like I said I was. I didn’t feel good. I told Alabama before I made this decision that I was going to de-commit. They’re still my No. 1 school now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not committing anytime soon. I probably won’t wait until signing day, but I’m going to weigh my options.”
Behind Alabama, Auburn is his No. 2 school and Georgia is No. 3. There is a chance down the road that he could re-commit to the Tide, but it’s going to come down to Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal.
Johnson expressed concern that Cristobal wouldn’t be at Alabama much longer.
“I want to know if he’s going to move,” Johnson said of Cristobal’s coaching opportunities. “That was one of my main concerns. At Alabama, that’s who I connect with, even though coach Lupoi is my recruiting coach. I don’t know if Cristobal is going to be there. I have to wait and see on that one. Cristobal is a really smart guy. He may leave and go get himself a head coaching job.”
The nation’s No. 5 offensive guard also mentioned the fact that early playing time could lead him to not play for Alabama. Johnson believes the quickest path to seeing the field is at either Auburn or Georgia.
“I feel like I can most definitely go to Auburn or Georgia and dominate,” he said. “I feel like I could be a freshman there and start. That’s how I feel. I want to be a freshman All-American.”