Who: Jeremy Johnson
Watch List: Davey O'Brien, Maxwell Award
The Jeremy Johnson era has arrived, and with it, lots of hype. He lands on two watch lists so far. The Maxwell Award is given to the "College Player of the Year" regardless of position. Both Johnson and possibly his top WR target, Duke Williams, are on the list. He is also under consideration for the Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback. This year's preseason watch list consists of 24 quarterbacks, including three SEC players: Jeremy Johnson, Tennessee's Josh Dobbs, and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott. Auburn boasts one previous winner of the award, Cameron Newton.
Johnson had time in seven games last season. He started the opener vs. Arkansas, completing his first eight passes, and finishing 12-16 for 243 yards in first half, with touchdown passes to Duke (18 yards) and Melvin Ray (49 yards). He is the first Auburn quarterback to throw for more than 200 yards in a half since Cam did it in in 2010 vs. South Carolina. His action has been limited but its his accuracy in those spots that has impressed: 3-4 passing for 34 yards against San José State; 3-3 passing for 61 yards vs. LSU; against Georgia, he was 4-5 for 30 yards on a late drive. He has 828 career passing yards and has thrown nine career touchdowns through his first two seasons
Heading Into the Season
If the first half of last year's Arkansas game is any kind of indication, this should be a fun year. The coaches all seem to know something. There's an air of confidence, and perhaps that has something to do with Johnson.