Prattville track and field star Travis Johnson signed a national letter of intent to run for Auburn at a signing ceremony Friday at the school.
Johnson currently is ranked No. 2 in the state at the 100 meters and third in the 200, according to Alabama Runners. He also finished fourth in the 60 at the indoor state meet in February.
“It’s good that there’s one less thing to think about and I can just focus on track and run faster times,” Johnson said. “War Eagle, baby.”
Johnson didn’t focus fully on sprinting until his junior season at Prattville, when he decided to give up playing football. A hamstring injury his sophomore year put him behind the curve, but he battled back to become one of the state’s top runners.
On Friday, he took another step toward his ultimate dream: the Olympics.
“I was put in a position where I could stay with football and go to not as good a college, or focus strictly on track and go to the SEC. That was always my dream, to go to the SEC, and I accomplished it.”
Johnson hasn’t always been an Auburn fan. But he has been converted by his brother and Prattville track and field coach Derrick Motley.
“My brother (Antron), he’s a die-hard Auburn fan. He always told me that I was going to Auburn,” Johnson said. “Coach Derrick told me my freshman year, ‘I’m going to make you an Auburn Tiger.’ Because at the time I wasn’t a fan of Auburn. So when we went on my visit, he winked at me and said, ‘Remember ninth grade?’ So that was a good moment.”
At the Montgomery Academy Invitational last week, Johnson showed his skill against 28 other teams and about 800 other athletes. He won the 100 and the 200, and was a member of the winning 1,600 relay team.
“I’m really happy for him because Travis was a two-sport athlete … but he decided to … focus on track because he has (Olympic) dreams,” Motley said. “Just seeing him not give up and continue to keep his grades up and work toward his goal, I feel like a big brother to him. It’s just a really special moment to see him work so hard and get what he’s been working for.”