Busy month doesn't deter 5-star's quest for role as starting quarterback
|Thursday, December 8, 2016, 12:46 PM- -|
Hunter Johnson has a busy month ahead of him, but he isn’t letting the award circuit, official visits or all-star games get in the way of his goal of being the starting quarterback at Clemson.
Johnson, the 5-star 2017 Clemson quarterback commit out of Brownsburg (IN), was named IndyStar’s Mr. Football for the state of Indiana Wednesday. Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter stoped by Johnson’s school Wednesday morning, Streeter and head coach Dabo Swinney had an in-home visit Wednesday night and Johnson will make the trip to Clemson this weekend for an official visit.
After playing in the U.S. All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 7, Johnson will begin classes at Clemson.
“Yeah, it’s been a crazy few days,” Johnson told TigerNet. “It's (winning Mr. Football) been a goal of mine that I've had for a long time, and it's a goal of my coaches. When Coach (John) Hart arrived here in Brownsburg this year, it was a goal of his even though it was his first season. It's pretty special. It's a pretty neat thing, and I am excited about it. I found out about it on Wednesday - my coaches kind of surprised me with it. It was pretty neat the way it all happened.”
The in-home visit with Swinney and Streeter went as expected, and Johnson says Streeter’s message to him is simple – be ready to compete for a job when you step on campus.
“He tells me the biggest thing for me coming in is to dive in and learn the offense as quick as possible,” Johnson said of Streeter. “He thinks I have a good opportunity coming in and he thinks I have a chance to make an impact on the team. He wants me to come in and prepare myself as much as I can and learn as much as I can to make myself and my team better.”
Running an offense with the talent Clemson has to offer is something Johnson thinks about.
“It's great to see how well Deshaun (Watson) is doing this year with Mike Williams and Wayne Gallman and Ray-Ray McCloud and Artavis Scott and Hunter Renfrow and all of those guys,” he said. “There are so many guys on that offense that are so talented and it's amazing to see how well they are doing. It would be nice, something that I could get used to.”
Johnson will visit Clemson this weekend and get an early look at Clemson’s bowl preparations.
“Like with any visit, I am looking forward to spending quality time with the coaches and their families,” he said. “I will also stay with a player, obviously, and really get a feel for where I am going to be in a couple of weeks. I am coming in January, and I want to get acclimated to things and have a fun weekend.”
A four-year starter at quarterback, Johnson passed for 2,233 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior and rushed for 525 yards and three TDs. His career totals of 6,657 passing yards and 69 touchdown passes are both school records. Johnson led Brownsburg to its first Hoosier Crossroads Conference championship in four years.
Because he played at a high level for all four season in high schools is the reason he thinks he could start as a freshman on the collegiate level.
“I do think I will be able to. I started as a freshman at Brownsburg,” Johnson said. “I know high school football is completely different than college football, but I think I am as mature and as talented as anyone. I think I would be ready if they think I am ready. Ultimately it's up to me to give myself the best chance and do what I can to make sure the coaches have confidence in me.”