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Better Know a Freshman: Max Johnson

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Lefty QB is prime to be literally the greatest football player of all time

Terrill Weil, 247.

So LSU is suddenly swimming in blue chip QBs. Between Garrett Nussmeier next year and Walker Howard the year after, LSU seems to be set at QB. There is another blue chip though, lefty Max Johnson, from the same high school as LSU great and guy who was never actually given a sufficient shot in the NFL Zach Mettenberger. Max Johnson is the son of the famously obscure Super Bowl winning QB Brad Johnson, and nephew to Mark Richt. I certainly can’t remember the last time LSU had a lefty starting QB, so it would certainly be fun if Johnson can manage to crack the top of the depth chart.

The Story

Johnson received interest from several major schools, including even getting a couple crystal ball picks to Miami (Richt was there at the time) and another to Florida State. He also received interest from Auburn and Georgia. He ultimately settled on LSU having been recruited by Steve Ensminger

The Numbers

Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.

Four-stars (90-97 rating): These are players that we believe are the most likely to produce college careers that get them drafted. By National Signing Day, this number is typically in the range of 350 prospects, roughly the top 10 percent of prospects in a given class.

Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.

Two-stars (70-79 rating): These are prospects that we consider to be FBS-level players with very limited NFL potential.

247 Composite Ranking: ****

247 Composite Rating: .9090

The Film

So Max Johnson’s highlight film is pretty good, but it’s also just highlight film. With QBs, I really like to see instances of them working deep into progressions, throwing in and out of rhythm, throwing with anticipation, negotiating pressure, etc. I need to see stuff like that on a down to down basis instead of just the high end, which is what is lost by just having highlights. That said, I think Johnson is a fairly talented player. Talented enough to start for LSU? Probably not given Myles Brennan’s two remaining seasons of eligibility, as well as the imminent arrival of Garrett Nussmeier and Walker Howard. That said he is a really effective deep ball thrower (at least on the high end) and can fit balls into tight windows with some serious high end accuracy (no idea if it’s sustained on a down to down basis). Statistically, he had a solid senior season after an awful junior year.

The Future

High End: Starts in an emergency situation and manages to play passably competently with freak receivers and a well constructed system.

Low End: Never sees the field and transfers to a lower competition level.

Realistic: I think he serves competently as a backup, playing in mop up duty, but he’ll eventually transfer to the Group of 5 where I think he can be pretty solid. The QB room is just too crowded and Brennan has two whole years of eligibility left.

Editor’s Note:

As a fellow lefty I won’t stand for this libel against Johnson. Folks I’m here to tell you Max Johnson is the REAL DEAL. That’s right, I’m talking a four-time Heisman trophy winner who will lead LSU to four more 15-0, national championship seasons. You heard it here first