For all the talk about Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence this past spring, sophomore Hunter Johnson quietly had a very good spring.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, as well as co-offensive coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott, spoke highly of Johnson’s improvement in spring practices and how far he has come since last spring after enrolling in school early.
“Hunter has come lighter years from where he was last year and had a great spring,” Swinney said.
The difference for Johnson is simple. He just feels more comfortable in the offense than he did a year ago. He is a year older, a year wiser and he has a year under his belt.
It also helped that Johnson got the opportunity to play in seven games last year.
“I have been a step faster with my decisions and have been just more confident with where I am going with the ball,” he said.
Johnson looked confident in the spring game as he opened the day with a 37-yard completion to wide receiver Tee Higgins. He also threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Higgins as well.
“Going from a high school offense to a college offense is always going to be a little more complicated so just learning everything is always a big transition when you are learning a new offense. Whether it’s with a new team or a new OC, I had four of them in high school, so I can kind of get used to learning new offenses,” he said. “It’s just about getting comfortable with everything.”
Johnson has gotten comfortable thanks to quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter. The sophomore says Streeter makes the quarterback room fun. He says he also enjoys the competition he is in with Bryant, Lawrence and redshirt freshman Chase Brice.
“It is a lot of fun,” he said. “Coach Streeter does a great job making sure that we are getting the same amount of reps and making sure we are all learning the same thing and getting on page with him. That has been real important for him and for us to make sure we are all on the same page.”
As the team begins summer workouts next week, Johnson says he has a lot of things he is going to work on. For one, he wants to continue his growth in the offense, which he will do by watching film. Secondly, he wants to get better on the field, which he says begins with his footwork.
“I want to work on my footwork this off-season,” he said. “That is something Coach Streeter has really been stressing on all of us to improve our game in the run game as well as in the pass game, so footwork is going to be a big thing for me this off-season.
“It really kind of starts with your feet going up and that kind of slows everything down.”