Ex-Clemson QB Johnson transferring to Northwestern

Quarterback Hunter Johnson played in seven games for Clemson last season as a freshman.Photo Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

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Former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson is transferring to Northwestern, Northwestern officials announced on Monday.

Johnson was ranked as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class by 247sports.

Johnson announced his decision to leave Clemson last month after competing for the starting job with returning starter Kelly Bryant and incoming freshman Trevor Lawrence, who was rated the nation’s top overall recruit in the class of 2018 by 247sports.

Bryant was listed as the Tigers’ No. 1 quarterback in the post-spring depth chart, with Lawrence as his backup.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Wildcat family,” Johnson said in a statement. “The program that Coach (Pat) Fitzgerald and his staff have built at Northwestern is phenomenal, and one my family has had the opportunity to get to know and trust.”

Johnson will sit out the 2018 season, then have three years of eligibility remaining.

He completed 18 of 22 passes in seven games as a true freshman at Clemson last season.

Northwestern expects to have quarterback Clayton Thorson, a three-year starter, back after he suffered a torn ACL in last season’s Music City Bowl.

Johnson will compete for the starting job in 2019.

Johnson also visited Duke and considered Purdue before picking Northwestern.

“We are ecstatic to add a player of Hunter’s caliber and character to our program,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.