Will former Alabama commit pledge to fierce rival Auburn?

Will Johnson end up a Tiger?
John Reed/John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Netori Johnson figures to be one of the most highly-pursued offensive line prospects in the class of 2017. 

At 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, the Georgia native demonstrates nimbleness akin to that of a dancing bear. Johnson is also extremely powerful — which in turns lends to the notion of being a complete mauler in the run game. 

As such, it’s no surprise that virtually every big program in the Southeast region is pining for Johnson’s services. Although he once was a longtime commitment to Alabama, he’s since pulled back on that pledge — and appears to have his eyes on another program. 

"I like Auburn. Everybody knows that," Johnson told AL.com. "I had a very good time, especially with Coach (Herb) Hand."

Johnson has visited Auburn twice in the past three weeks. His burgeoning relationship with Hand has the Tigers perhaps in the driver’s seat for Johnson at this point. 

"Herb Hand, that’s my dog. I’m liking him. I’m digging him," said Johnson. "He’s a great coach. We sat up there, we watched my film. He taught me some things in just a matter of a few minutes about technique…Herb is a great coach."

While Gus Malzahn’s program could be considered a front-runner at this point, there’s still virtually an entire year until Johnson can make his college choice official.

One can bet on the hometown Georgia Bulldogs making Johnson a priority. Alabama also likely won’t give up on trying to lure Johnson back into the fold — especially since he’s heavily considering the Crimson Tide’s hated in-state rival.