About the only time Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson smiled talking to the media after the team’s 35-19 loss to Oklahoma late Monday night is when he previewed his future away from the Plains.
Johnson is looking forward to a fresh start training for his pro day in Orlando.
“Most definitely,” Johnson said about being excited. “Getting the chance to be coached up a little more and see what’s next.”
The reference to coaching came on the heels of revealing comments from the team’s former starter that he had little day-to-day involvement with the first- or second- team offense since Auburn’s loss to Clemson.
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Johnson was one of the quarterbacks working with the scout team this week simulating Baker Mayfield. The senior had little feel for the offensive game plan when he entered the game for an injured Sean White and John Franklin III.
“I was on the scout team this whole week,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t really around the offense at all, so I was just trying to help the defense out. As a matter of fact I’ve been a scout team quarterback for after the first game, I’ve been helping the defense out as the scout team quarterback just helping my team any way I can giving them great looks.”
Johnson led Auburn down field on his first possession, but threw an interception in the end zone to Jordan Thomas. The highlight of the night for the former 4-star prospect was a 56-yard bomb to Darius Slayton.
The quarterback enjoyed playing with his fellow seniors one final time, but acknowledged it was a “bad loss” for the program. The Montgomery native paused at times to find the right words to describe his feelings about the disappointing finish to a once promising career.
“Learning experience, ups and downs, bump in the road,” Johnson said. “It’s life. It made me a better person. It made me humble.”
Johnson’s career came off the rails following a 1-2 start last season with the quarterback turning it over seven times in the three-game stretch. Coaches worried Johnson lost his confidence following an embarrassing performance on the road at LSU.
The quarterback returned to the lineup when Sean White injured his knee late in the season, but never lived up to the preseason Heisman hype.
Johnson vowed to fight for the starting job following a two-touchdown performance in the Birmingham Bowl and was given a clean slate by the coaching staff going into the offseason.
White prevailed in the competition, but Johnson was called upon again late in the season due to injuries. Johnson started Auburn’s final two regular season games throwing, but showed the same inconsistency that cost him the starting job last year.
“People ask me all the time would I do all over again, would I come to Auburn? I tell them yeah,” Johnson said. “…I love being around these guys. I wouldn’t choose no other place but here.”