Former 5-star QB Hunter Johnson transferring to Northwestern from Clemson

Pat Fitzgerald

Blockbuster news hit the college football landscape on Monday afternoon as Northwestern picked up the biggest name on the transfer market, five-star quarterback Hunter Johnson.

Per the NCAA's transfer rules, Johnson will need to sit out 2018. He played in seven games for Clemson as a freshman, completing 21 of 27 passes with two touchdowns and an interception.

Johnson announced in May that he was transferring from Clemson, leaving Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence to battle for the starting job.

"While it is always disappointing to lose a great person and a great player, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Hunter and watch him grow and develop over the past year and a half", Swinney said when Johnson announced that he was transferring.

Northwestern opens the 2018 campaign on Thursday, August 30, in a prime time Big Ten West matchup with Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette.

"I'm thrilled to be a part of the Wildcat family".

Johnson's brother, Cole, played at Northwestern from 2013 to '16 as a walk-on receiver. "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".

Coming out of high school, he was the top quarterback in the nation by ESPN, No. 2 quarterback in the nation according to 247Sports, Elite 11 quarterback, and MVP of the US Army All-American game. I am thankful to Coach (Dabo) Swinney and the Clemson family for all their support over the past year-and-a-half.

This would be ideal timing to take over for Clayton Thorson, who is entering his senior year after serving as the team's starter for most of the last three years.

"We are ecstatic to add a player of Hunter's caliber and character to our program", Fitzgerald said in a prepared statement.

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