LSU will head into the 2022 season with not just a new head coach, but a different starting quarterback.
Max Johnson, the Tigers quarterback since late 2020, announced that he will be moving out of LSU. His decision coincides with the announcement by his brother, tight end Jake Johnson, that he would open up their engagement after previously trying to play for the Tigers.
LSU, Thank you for allowing me to pursue my academic and athletic career here. I have built strong relationships that will last a lifetime with the coaches, the staff, and especially my teammates! With careful consideration and prayer, I am entering the transfer portal.
– Max Johnson (@ Max_Johnson_14) December 8, 2021
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Max Johnson performed well in 2021 in a transition year for the program in which national championship winner coach Ed Orgeron parted ways with the program. He completed 60.3 percent of his passes with 2,815 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions. His transfer from LSU comes just days after Brian Kelly was announced as the show’s new coach.
Max Johnson is the latest high-profile quarterback to enter the transfer portal, joining former Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler and Ohio State QB Quinn Ewers.
There’s probably no shortage of teams looking to add Max Johnson to their squad for the 2022 season. Here are five possible landing spots for the former four-star pick.
State of florida
This is the destination that seems to make the most sense to Max Johnson. Jordan Travis was adequate as a starter under center, completing 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,539 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions, but the team was 5-7, putting Mike Norvell in the hot seat at Tallahassee. .
Max Johnson would have a different quarterback style than Travis, offering more of a pro style game than double threat. However, that might be the style Norvell would be looking for, given the success he had in Memphis with pro-style options like Riley Ferguson and Brady White.
There is also the family factor. His father, Brad Johnson, was a quarterback at Florida State in college before moving to the NFL. Family ties could help the young QB continue the tradition in Florida.
The couple also looks like they might move into a school as a package, especially since they were both scheduled to be in Baton Rouge in 2022 before they simultaneously decided it would no longer be in the cards. Jake Johnson is the best tight end pick in the nation, based on 247Sports composite rankings, and it would be a breakthrough for the Seminoles in the class. His 2022 class is already ranked 11th in the nation, and adding the 85th engagement to the ranks would only add to the excitement. Jake Johnson could start at the position early, given that Camren McDonald led the position in receiving yards with just 243 on 24 receptions last season.
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Geoff Collins has yet to lead the Yellow Jackets above the three-win plateau in his three seasons at the helm, but landing Max and Jake Johnson could go a long way toward changing the team in an ACC open conference.
Last season, quarterback Jeff Sims completed just 59.9 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and dealt with injuries that opened the door for Jordan Yates to replace. Yates also completed 59.9 percent of his passes, throwing six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Georgia Tech has been looking for a quarterback to transfer to Atlanta, and Max Johnson, who went to Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Georgia, could be a possible answer. It would represent a massive improvement in position and would be placed in the starting role immediately. There is some offensive talent there with wide receiver Malachi Carter and running back Jahmyr Gibbs both likely to return. Jake Johnson could also get immediate playing time with leading tight end receiver Dylan Leonard, who caught 11 passes for 112 yards.
If the Johnson brothers wanted to get into a race-ready program right away, the Hawkeyes would certainly provide that opportunity. The Hawkeyes reached the Big Ten Championship in 2021 and are currently ranked 15th in the College Football Playoffs rankings. At one point, they ranked as high as No. 2 after a win against Penn State.
The Hawkeyes were driven in large part by their defense, with the offense struggling to get going. Spencer Petras threw just nine touchdown passes and six interceptions with a 56.6 percent completion percentage, leading to Alex Padilla completing on occasions, including Iowa’s loss to Michigan in the conference championship. The Hawkeyes have tended to rely on pro-style quarterbacks in the past, and Max Johnson would represent not just an improvement in position, but an ideal fit for offense.
Iowa has also developed a reputation for outstanding tight ends in the past. George Kittle and Noah Fant have achieved NFL success, and tight end Sam Laporta was the team’s leading receiver in 2021 with 548 yards on 46 receptions, including a pair of touchdowns.
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If Max Johnson wanted to go to a school with some familiarity with his game, Nebraska would make sense as a transfer destination. Mickey Joseph, a former wide receiver coach and assistant head coach at LSU for several years, was recently hired by the Cornhuskers to be the team’s passing game coordinator, associate head coach and wide receiver coach.
That’s not the only offensive side of the ball signing that Johnson could be drawn to. According to a report by Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press, the Cornhuskers also brought in Pitt’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Mark Whipple, who helped make QB Kenny Pickett a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2021.
Nebraska is in the market for a quarterback after Adrián Martínez announced that he would enter the transfer portal. While Martinez was a double-threat quarterback, and Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost has largely been successful with double-threat options, a change of pace at the position could help a program that It needs a reboot and a change of course.
The Gamecocks are a show on the rise in its first season with Shane Beamer. They made it to Duke’s Mayo Bowl, their first bowling game since 2018, and were 6-6 after two consecutive losing seasons. To take the next step, they will need to find a quarterback.
South Carolina had a revolving QB situation at Columbia in 2021, with Luke Doty, Jason Brown and Zeb Noland all having opening plays for the team. None were particularly exceptional, leaving room for Max Johnson to step in and fill the position should he transfer there. Beamer had success with the quarterbacks in a pro-style offense and could benefit from having a more dynamic passer under center.
The receiving body would also get a boost from Jake Johnson, who could line up with Jaheim Bell at tight end and give the Gamecocks two weapons at position. Last season, Bell was second on the team with 338 receiving yards, three touchdowns and 25 receptions.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.