Former Clemson QB Hunter Johnson, a 2017 five-star recruit out of Indiana, has transferred to Northwestern. Per NCAA rules, Johnson will have to sit out this season, but he’ll be able to start in 2019.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Wildcat family,” Johnson said in a statement. “The program that Coach Fitzgerald and his staff have built at Northwestern is phenomenal, and one my family has had the opportunity to get to know and trust. I am thankful to Coach Swinney and the Clemson family for all their support over the past year-and-a-half. My focus now is on doing everything in my power to help this team prepare to compete for a Big Ten West title. Go ‘Cats!”
Johnson was a three-year starter in high school, with a run at the state title as a senior that fell short.
He was heavily recruited by Tennessee, Penn State, and Notre Dame. In fact, he was committed to Tennessee before flipping to Clemson in 2015.
Johnson landing at Northwestern makes a lot of sense.
Last month, ESPN’s Chris Low reported that Northwestern was an early favorite:
Sources told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that Northwestern and Purdue are two possible destinations for Johnson. His brother Cole played in few games as a reserve for Northwestern a few years ago.
While the news of his transfer was a bit of a surprise, given how touted Johnson was as a recruit, it made sense.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is so good that he’s already making the Tigers’ quarterback room a bit too crowded. When he enrolled in January 2018, he was one of the most highly-rated quarterback prospects since the modern recruiting rankings era.
There simply isn’t enough room for Johnson on this Clemson depth chart. Last year’s starter and former blue-chip recruit Kelly Bryant is still with the Tigers. He threw for 2,678 yards, 13 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, while running for another 11 scores. Chase Brice is still there, too.