LSU Starting QB Max Johnson Enters Transfer Portal After Brian Kelly Hire

Erin WalshContributor IDecember 8, 2021

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 27: Max Johnson #14 of the LSU Tigers throws the ball during the first half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

LSU starting quarterback Max Johnson has entered the transfer portal, he announced Tuesday.

The news comes after the Tigers hired former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly to become their next bench boss following the departure of Ed Orgeron.

Max Johnson @Max_Johnson_14

LSU, Thank you for allowing me to pursue my academic and athletic career here. I have made strong relationships that will last a lifetime with coaches, staff and especially my teammates! With careful and prayerful consideration, I am entering the transfer portal.

Johnson spent the first two years of his college career at LSU. During his 2021 sophomore season, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 2,814 yards and 27 touchdowns against six interceptions in 12 games. 

The 20-year-old started all of LSU's regular-season games, leading the Tigers to a 6-6 record, after Myles Brennan suffered an arm injury before the 2021 campaign began. Brennan also announced his decision to leave LSU last month. 

In addition, wide receiver Deion Smith is also expected to enter the transfer portal, per The Athletic's Brody Miller. Johnson's brother, class of 2022 4-star tight end Jake Johnson, also announced his decommitment from LSU on Tuesday. 

The Tigers have also lost several other players to the transfer portal, including cornerback Elias Ricks, receiver Koy Moore and linebacker Navonteque Strong. 

With Johnson leaving LSU, Garrett Nussmeier is the school's only remaining quarterback on scholarship. If Nussmeier plays in the Texas Bowl on Jan. 4, that will burn his redshirt, so it will be interesting to see how the Tigers handle the situation. 

However, Walker Howard, a 5-star quarterback out of Lafayette, Louisiana, will arrive in January as a true freshman. 

In addition, LSU could explore a replacement for Johnson in the transfer portal. Several talented quarterbacks are available, including Spencer Rattler, Quinn Ewers, Dillon Gabriel and Jake Haener. 

The Tigers have a lot of work to do after a rough two seasons since winning the national championship game in 2019 with Joe Burrow at quarterback.