Max Johnson Shined as a Freshman, And He’s Just Getting Started
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

Only six players in NFL history completed at least 60 percent of their passes in 13-straight seasons. Five of them are obvious — Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. But the sixth? That’d be former NFL quarterback Brad Johnson, who was the first to accomplish the feat between 1995 and 2007. Johnson reached two Pro Bowls in his career — one with the Washington Redskins and another with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — and helped lead the Bucs to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII alongside head coach Jon Gruden.

It’s safe to say Johnson knows a thing or two about being a successful signal caller, which he passed down to his son, LSU quarterback Max Johnson.

A native of Watkinsville, Georgia, Max Johnson was a unanimous four-star prospect by every major recruiting service. The 247Sports Composite ranked Johnson as the No. 10 pro style quarterback of the 2020 recruiting cycle, while ESPN ranked the 6-foot-5 gunslinger as the No. 14 overall player in Georgia.

The southpaw QB is set to take command of the huddle for Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers in 2021.

QB Max Johnson Recruiting & Highlights

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Johnson, an Oconee County High School grad, was named Georgia’s Region 8 Player of the Year after racking up over 2,000 passing yards, completing 66 percent of his passes, and accounting for 35 total touchdowns during his senior season. The Oconee County Warriors finished the 2019 season with a 13-2 record, but fell to Blessed Trinity in the Class AAAA state championship game.

Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas A&M were among the schools offering scholarships to the prized quarterback recruit, but LSU received a verbal commitment from Johnson in November 2018, and he never wavered.


With a football pedigree that runs deep — former Georgia and Miami head coach Mark Richt is his uncle — it’s no surprise Johnson has made the most of his opportunities in Baton Rogue.

Max Johnson at LSU

Junior Myles Brennan was named Joe Burrow‘s successor after his Heisman Trophy and National Championship campaign.

Brennan’s spent three games under center last season before he went down with an abdominal injury. Johnson split time with TJ Finley, who’s now at Georgia, but he true freshman took over full time the last two games of the season against Florida and Ole Miss.

Johnson shined in the 37-34 upset over Florida on the road, throwing for 239 yards and three touchdowns while adding 52 yards on the ground. He stayed hot against Ole Miss in a 53-48 shootout victory, throwing for 435 yards and three touchdowns with three scores on the ground.

The Tiger offense looked explosive when Johnson was out there. Most importantly, he led the team to two wins.

Brennan was primed to come back healthy in 2021, however, he broke his left arm preparing for a fishing trip prior to fall camp. Johnson is the de facto starting quarterback, but it’s not unearned.

He’s proved he can remain calm under pressure in big games. He proven he has the skills to get the offense going. With a year of experience under his belt, LSU QB Max Johnson is ready to take complete ownership of Ed Orgeron‘s offense.


This article was originally published December 18, 2019 before updating.

MORE: LSU’s 2021 Schedule Means Bounce Back for the Tigers

John Duffley About the author:
John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for and A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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