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Auburn's Jeremy Johnson embracing leadership role
Aug. 10, 2015

Jeremy Johnson says he's ready to go as Auburn's starting quarterback

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. Jeremy Johnson knows the responsibility that comes with being Auburn's starting quarterback.

"Being a quarterback, that's a captain no matter what. I don’t mind doing that," Johnson says. "I'm the quarterback and that's my role for this team, for this program and for this university. Like I said, I'm enjoying it. I'm looking forward to this year."

Auburn continued working toward that end in Monday morning's scrimmage dominated by the defense, and again in the second workout during a rare two-a-day practice on the schedule. Johnson didn't get to do much in the scrimmage that focused on the run game and younger players, but he's ready to show off his big arm in the season-opener against Louisville on Sept. 5.

Johnson has been waiting, for the most part, while serving as Nick Marshall's understudy. He says he thinks about being the starter.

"All the time. Before I go on the field at practice, before meetings. I just wake up and I'm blessed."

Receiver Ricardo Louis says Johnson has "embraced everything the coaches have asked him to do."

"Everything the coaches ask him do, he’s done it. Whether it’s working on his footwork, to being a leader on the field, off the field, talking to the offense when we’re down, even when we’re up. He’s taken that responsibility and ran with it."

Malzahn said he is ready for Johnson to take charge.

"He's been with us three years, and as I've said before, he got a lot of reps with the ones and had to prepare like he was the starter a lot of times the last two years and he played very well."

Auburn started preseason practice a week ago, but Johnson has building a rapport with his veteran receivers since he arrived in 2013. That intensified over the summer.

"That was our edge before coming to fall camp, just getting timing routes down," Johnson said. "I feel really good. We're in a really good spot from a skill position standpoint."

And Johnson said he hopes from a leadership standpoint.

"I've been enjoying the process so far. I’ve been more vocal -- just trying to lead the guys on and off the field in the right way by being vocal and by actions."

Johnson says his backup, Sean White, can handle it as well.

"He knows the offense. He has an amazing arm. He's one of my best friends on the team and if anything happens to me, I know this team will be in great shape."

Johnson said the trials and tribulations of other players, such as Duke Williams, won't affect his game.
"This hasn't been a distraction at all. Not even a little bit," Johnson said. "Like I said, we feel really good about the rest of the receivers we got. We got four tremendous guys that are going to help us."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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