HOOVER, Ala. – Back in Hoover for SEC Media Days 2015 — the unofficially beginning to college football season, but certainly the start of talking season.
The first team to take the mic Monday afternoon was Auburn, and a lot of the talk was about new starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson. We all know the junior can sling the ball all over the field, but don’t think the zone read is gone with him under center.
“We did not ask him to run the last couple of years because Nick Marshall was so effective, but he will do both. He is a guy that can make all the throws in our offense and do all the running plays in our offense. We’ll ask him to run at times and I feel like he will be effective,” head coach Gus Malzahn said.
We saw just what Johnson could do in the 2014 opener against Arkansas, but now in his first full season as a starter, he’s ready to be the guy for the Tigers.
"I've been in the system for three years now, and even when I wasn't playing, I prepared as a starter. My time is here now, and I'm blessed. Like I said, I have been preparing for this moment, I feel like I was a starter but I wasn't playing. Now that my time is here I can release everything I have inside of me," Johnson said.
Of course, having a quarterback like that helps in more than one way. It's no secret Auburn's defense needs to get better. And seeing a quarterback like Johnson at practice every day is already making a difference.
Auburn linebacker Kris Frost said about Johnson, "The things he can do are amazing, seeing him at practice everyday is a great sight. It makes us extremely excited, but sometimes it makes us frustrated at practice. The sky is the limit for Jeremy."
Defensive back Jonathan Jones said, "It's been a little frustrating cause he is good, he is able to make a lot of throws other people can't make in this league. It's making us better for game day, facing other quarterbacks is going to be a lot easier for us."
We heard a lot about Jeremy Johnson, and rightfully so. But when we asked him what he is most impressed with, he said freshman Kerryon Johnson. And who can blame him? He was Mr. football last season. Gus Malzahn is hoping to get him on the field early and often.