Even during this trying stretch of dormancy, USF’s 2020 quarterback derby is intensifying.
Former Armwood standout Noah Johnson, the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year two seasons ago at Alcorn State, announced Thursday via Twitter that he’ll play his final collegiate season at USF as a graduate transfer.
Limited to only three games last season due to a separated AC joint, Johnson said the NCAA approved his request for a medical waiver. He becomes USF’s fifth scholarship quarterback for 2020.
He’ll also be reunited with Bulls running backs coach Pat White, who spent the previous two years as Alcorn State’s quarterbacks coach.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity,” said Johnson, who graduated last May with a degree in sports management, in a text message.
“Also very grateful for Coach (Jeff) Scott and staff giving me a chance to not only further my education but continue athletics back home. I’m super excited to get started with the guys.”
A 6-foot dual threat recruited primarily as a receiver by Division I-A schools, Johnson opted for Alcorn, which assured him a chance to play behind center.
He threw for 2,207 yards and ran for 1,080 two seasons ago, setting a school record with a 92-yard scoring run. He ranked third in Division I-AA in yards per carry (7.5) and 16th in completion percentage (.621), leading the Braves (9-4) to the SWAC title.
In 2016, he tied Steve McNair’s school single-game record with eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) in a 61-7 romp of Mississippi Valley State.
Whenever practice resumes at USF, he’ll contend for the starting job with North Carolina transfer Cade Fortin; who has a heralded right arm; and incumbent Jordan McCloud, who started 10 games last season. Incoming freshmen Jordan Smith and Katravis Marsh also will be in the room.
“Even if (Johnson) does not play one snap he will not cause any issues for the program or be a distraction,” said Armwood coach Evan Davis, who watched Johnson total more than 5,000 yards and lead the Hawks to a pair of state title game appearances as a junior and senior.
“But mark my words, he will play a lot this year.”