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Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson: ‘I’m not going nowhere’

Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson warms up before A-Day at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, April 10, 2016.
Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson warms up before A-Day at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, April 10, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Quarterback Jeremy Johnson is an Auburn Tiger. The senior to be plans on being one in the fall even if his number isn’t called on Sept. 3 against Clemson.

“Where am I going to go?” Johnson said following A-Day. “I’m a competitor. I’m not going nowhere. I’ll keep competing for the starting quarterback job.”

Johnson’s comments are in line with the ones he shared following Auburn’s 31-10 win in the Birmingham Bowl.

“I got faith in myself to be the starting quarterback,” Johnson said in December.

With Auburn’s annual spring game providing little clarity in the three-way battle involving Johnson, Sean White and junior college transfer John Franklin III, Johnson found himself answering another round of questions about his future.

Johnson’s high school coach Billy Gresham said his former player was considering graduating early that would have left the door open for him to leave Auburn as a grad transfer.

Without a degree, Johnson would have to sit out a year if he wanted to transfer to another Division 1 school. Johnson threw a bucket of cold water on that discussion in his post-game remarks.

“I feel good,” Johnson said. “Your job is to ask questions and do what you do. I’m going to be here. I’m going to stay here. I’m going to compete for the starting job, get my degree in December and go about my business.”

The Montgomery native didn’t do much to help or hurt his chances Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. All three quarterbacks split time evenly with the first and second team throughout the game.

Johnson was 6 of 13 for 35 yards with a touchdown in the Blue Team’s 19-10 win over the White Team. The quarterback had little success outside of the Blue Team’s opening second half drive. He completed a pair of passes inside the 20-yard line including an 8-yard throw to Roc Thomas for a touchdown.

Three of the four drives Johnson played in the first half ended in three and outs. He was sacked on one of the third down attempt for a loss of nine yards. Johnson also fumbled in the red zone during the first half, but recovered the football.

Johnson gave himself a mixed grade on the afternoon — “I could’ve played better” — but wasn’t too hard on himself considering the limited offensive game plan deployed by the coaches. He estimated the offense used less than a third of the playbook.

“We kept it real simple,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s credits his measured approach this spring to enduring the struggles he went through last season.

“Life is about obstacles,” Johnson said. “You going to go through it. I went through it. I haven’t been starting for three years. That was my first year starting. It happened. I have my confidence back and now I feel even better about where I’m at as a person and as a player because your character and how you handle things, take you a long way. I feel like I’m in a good spot.”