Texas A&M Football: Is Max Johnson the most underrated QB in the SEC?

Max Johnson, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Max Johnson, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M football team’s sole transfer portal addition to the 2022 roster will bring the Aggies something that they missed out on last season at the quarterback position — experience. In 2021, A&M had a quarterback competition between two players that had no starting experience in Haynes King and Zach Calzada.

While King looked promising in his single full start and Calzada brought A&M a win over Alabama, it was clear that Jimbo Fisher needed a new plan under center in 2022. This likely led the Aggie head coach toward his ultimate decision to bring in two new guys — a five-star high school prospect and a proven transfer quarterback.

While Conner Weigman, the incoming freshman, will be extremely valuable, it’s the other addition who will really make a difference. That addition is Max Johnson, LSU’s quarterback from the 2021 season, who put up sneakily strong numbers.

Why is Texas A&M football QB Max Johnson being so heavily overlooked by national media?

It isn’t really a good thing or a bad thing for Texas A&M, but the lack of media attention drawn toward Max Johnson joining the Aggies is… well, strange. In all likelihood, this has come as a result of Johnson playing for an LSU team that failed to have a winning season for the second straight year.

But the problem wasn’t Johnson. In fact, statistically speaking, Johnson was one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC — he was certainly better than Calzada in that regard.

This hasn’t stopped media from constantly overlooking him, as is evident in USA Today/AuburnWire’s returning quarterback rankings, which landed Max Johnson as the SEC’s 6th-ranked returning quarterback for 2022. Here’s what they said about him.

"Following the victory over Texas A&M, Johnson opted to transfer to the Aggies. He will be joined by his brother Jake Johnson, who flipped his commitment from LSU. Johnson is the most experienced quarterback on the Aggies’ roster but does he get the nod over Haynes King and Connor Weigman is the real question."

While the concern as to whether or not he will actually start in Aggieland is warranted, there is no mention of why his impressive career stat line has been overlooked. This impressive stat line showcases a career 3,883 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. For perspective, here’s what each QB Heisman finalist’s numbers looked like in 2021.

  • Kenny Pickett: 4,319 Passing Yards, 42 TD, 7 INT
  • Bryce Young: 4,872 Passing Yards, 47 TD, 7 INT

I’m not going to sit here behind a keyboard and tell you that Max Johnson should be considered a Heisman candidate anytime soon, but the numbers don’t lie. It’s rare that you see a quarterback throw with that kind of precision — this is something that should be recognized. It’s why Johnson, seemingly an afterthought, is the most underrated quarterback in the SEC.

Next. Will Ainias Smith be A&M's offensive MVP in 2022?. dark

Given a defense with a pulse, Johnson could potentially have a big breakout season with the Aggies.