HOOVER, Ala. (WHNT) — Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said he first started recruiting Jeremy Johnson when he was in ninth grade. Now, as the junior quaterback prepares to lead the Tiger offense, Johnson said the leadership skills he developed while growing up are already paying off.
“Off the field, showing leadership meads going to class on time, showing up ten minutes early, sitting in front of the classroom,” he said.
Simple measures away from the game, but ones that Johnson said helped prepare him to be the face of the Auburn offense.
“I feel like doing those little things off the field is going to help you on the field,” he said.
According to Johnson, he learned this behavior from his stepmother, who has worked as a teacher for years.
“She played a big factor in my life and I appreciate everything she’s done for me,” he said.
Johnson’s respectful demeanor also stood out during his first two years in the program, while serving as the back-up quarterback for Nick Marshall.
“His teammates and his coaches have a lot of respect the way he handled himself the last two years,” said Malzahn. “He could have started for most teams, so I think he’s in a very good spot and really established himself as our team leader.”
As Alabama’s Mr. Football in 2012, the Carver-Montgomery graduate also spends time speaking to young students at local schools and collecting clothing items to donate to Goodwill and Salvation Army.
WHNT News 19 will cover SEC Media Days 2015 all week. To read coverage from day 1, click here.