some N.F.L. scouts already have talked about converting Tx A&M QB Jerrod Johnson 2 TE

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Barfknecht: Aggies QB aims to show he really is No. 1
    By Lee Barfknecht

    •Use link above for Video: The Big Red Today Show from day one at Big 12 media days, with Lee Barfknecht, Rich Kaipust and Jon Nyatawa:

    * * *

    DALLAS — In all of Texas A&M football history, one area that's almost a blank page involves the procurement and development of high-caliber quarterbacks.

    The Aggies have never had an All-American at the position.

    In the past 50 years, only three have earned first-team all-conference. Unless you're a diehard fan, you might sprain your brain coming up with the names.

    Bucky Richardson was the most recent in 1991 in the old Southwest Conference. The others were Kevin Murray in 1986 and Edd Hargett in 1968.

    Since the Big 12 started play in 1996, no A&M quarterback had even made the league's second team.

    Until last season.

    Jerrod Johnson, as a junior in 2009, threw 30 touchdown passes with just eight interceptions. He already has single-season school records for passing yards and touchdowns, 300-yard passing games and total offense.

    And now the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder from Humble, Texas, is earning national attention as a Heisman Trophy prospect, largely because he nearly beat Texas by himself last Thanksgiving, accounting for 439 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-39 loss.

    Johnson, at Monday's Big 12 media days, didn't back away from the hype.

    “I feel I'm the best quarterback in the country,'' he said.

    But don't lump Johnson in with the any of the latest loudmouth, spoiled athletes.

    In quiet, measured tones, he added that his definition of the nation's best quarterback will be the one who leads his team to the most wins.

    “As a football player, you need to be confident in what you do,'' Johnson said. “You can't have success without confidence. At the same time, you have to respect the opponent and what they do.''

    The opponents definitely respect him.

    Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads on Monday recalled his encounter with Johnson in last year's 35-10 loss to A&M.

    “Going in to that week, we were scared to death,'' Rhoads said. “Sometimes I make stupid mistakes, so I wandered to midfield to watch him before the game. That did nothing but confirm that he's a hell of an athlete.

    “He's everything people are saying about him.''

    Yet some questions remain about Johnson, who will lead Texas A&M against Nebraska on Nov. 20 in College Station.

    Can he win the big game?

    You can usually tell the caliber of opponent by whether the game is televised. Last season, the Aggies were 6-0 in non-televised games and 0-7 when on TV.

    Does he do the normal stuff well enough to guide a big winner?

    In the Aggies offense that is heavy on short passing, Johnson completed 59.6 percent last season while running hot and cold far too often for regular success.

    Does he have the “it'' factor?

    A couple of NFL scouts already have talked about converting Johnson to tight end. They say they worry about his decision-making under pressure and for only sporadically making something out of nothing — a skill that might become a necessity with A&M possibly starting three true freshmen on the offensive line.

    Whatever the result, Johnson is the kind of guy worth rooting for.

    He's a joy to talk with. His parents were respected school teachers who graciously welcomed nearly two dozen foster children into their home through the years.

    While at A&M, Johnson has had to battle injury and overcome the unexpected death of his father. Despite those setbacks, Johnson already has a degree in kinesiology, has completed student teaching and now is studying for a master's degree.

    For all that he has accomplished, you can sense that Johnson desperately wants to stop the Aggie jokes and lead A&M into the Top 25, a place it hasn't finished in 11 years.

    “You hear grumbling,'' he said, “but it's because of the passion people have for our football. Our fans hold us to a high standard. I would hate to be at a school where people didn't care.

    “I think we're really close. You think about Texas A&M and the tradition we have, the fan base, the facilities, the talent — everything is in place. The time has come. It's up to us to execute and to win.''

    Contact the writer:

  2. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    Johnson looks like a QB to me...that guy is really talented.

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