Clemson coach Dabo Swinney Monday afternoon confirmed a report from earlier in the day by Larry Williams of TigerIllustrated that sophomore quarterback Hunter Johnson will transfer. Johnson is the third quarterback to leave the program since the end of last season following Zerrick Cooper and Tucker Israel.
Swinney met with Johnson over the weekend to discuss his future. Johnson appeared to be the third team quarterback coming out of spring behind Kelly Bryant and freshman Trevor Lawrence though Swinney said then that the competition would continue thru the summer and into fall camp.
“While it is always disappointing to lose a great person and a great player, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Hunter and watch him grow and develop over the last year and a half,” said Swinney in a statement. “Hunter is one of the best young men I have ever coached and has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Johnson was a heavily recruited, nationally recognized quarterback coming out of Brownsburg, IND. He originally committed to Tennessee coach Butch Jones but changed his pledge after taking a visit to Clemson. He was the MVP of the Army All American Game following his senior season.
Last season Johnson was 21-27 for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“I want to thank Coach Swinney and the Clemson family for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something special,” said Johnson in the statement. “I’ve met some amazing people who I will forever call family. I am a better man and a better football player because of my time spent at Clemson. Go Tigers!”
Reports that surfaced soon after news of Johnson’s transfer stated Purdue and Northwestern are two favorites to land him.
Clemson now has three quarterbacks on scholarship in Bryant, Lawrence and freshman Chase Brice. The Tigers have one quarterback committed for the 2019 class.