Just a quick recap of what this countdown is. Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at our choices for the 25 people who will have a short-term and a long-term effect on the rebuilding of the Auburn football program.
3) Jeremy Johnson, freshman, quarterback
By Aaron Brenner
For the kid’s sake, don’t compare him to Cam Newton just because of his size. (Matter of fact, same request for Nick Marshall just because of the junior college thing.) Johnson’s game is rough right now, but that’s nothing wrong with him – it’s just a fact of life for 18-year-old kids. He needs grooming, which will happen with watching, listening, learning, absorbing, repping and practicing. We saw Jonathan Wallace get his chance only out of necessity as a true freshman, and the results were predictable – terrific against lowly non-conference doormats, terrible against arguably the two best teams in the country. (By the way, Georgia and Alabama combined for 11 defensive draft picks this spring, including three first-rounders.)
So the point of throwing Johnson in the fire from day one is, shall we say, inconvenient and detracting to his quarterback-rearing, no? Look, he’s a great prospect, but he’s not Tebow or Newton or some other can’t-miss stud this second. Let the kid grow. And if he gets the correct coaching with a good head on his shoulders and dependable teammates, he indeed has a chance to be a superstar. Just not necessarily in 2013. Be patient.