AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football fans have not seen much of Jeremy Johnson this season, but they might not have seen the last of the him, either.
As the senior day game against Alabama A&M approaches and starter Sean White continues dealing with a shoulder injury, head coach Gus Malzahn hasn’t ruled out starting Johnson against the Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent.
“I’m confident in whoever we put out there that they get it done,” Malzahn said at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “That’s 100 percent the truth.”
Johnson competed against White and junior college transfer John Franklin III for the starting role in preseason camp. In the days following Malzahn’s decision to start White, Franklin was named Auburn’s backup.
Still, Johnson rotated in at quarterback in Auburn’s home opener against Clemson in September. The 6-foot-5, 234-pound Johnson was 4 for 6 for 38 passing yards and an interception.
Johnson’s only other appearance this season came in Auburn’s 38-14 rout of Mississippi State. He didn’t record any stats.
Throughout the year Malzahn has dismissed the possibilities Johnson could switch positions or redshirt in order to transfer after his graduation in December.
“I mean, obviously it’s been tough, the last two years on him and I think everybody knows that,” Malzahn said. “He’s handled himself well. He’s been there for his teammates and just trying to help us any way he can.”
Earlier in the week offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee implied Johnson could step onto the field again before the season’s end.
“Both John and Jeremy did a good job last week (Vanderbilt week) preparing,” Lashlee said. “and (we’ve) got confidence in both of them.”
Malzahn said the training and coaching staff would evaluate White’s health in the coming days before making a decision on quarterback. If the sophomore is sidelined by his nagging injury, the reps Johnson has taken in recent weeks could become valuable.
“You know, he’s (Jeremy) ready to play if he needs to play,” Malzahn said.
In 27 games at Auburn Johnson has thrown 19 touchdown passes (1,950 yards) and added 7 more scores on the ground (159 yards).