Mark Richt's nephew, top QB prospect Max Johnson, commits to LSU over Miami

At 7-5, Miami has been one of the most disappointing teams in college football this season.

The Hurricanes have especially been lackluster on offense with the quarterback play from senior Malik Rosier and redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry being particularly underwhelming. So that’s why it was a tough pill to swallow for Miami fans when Max Johnson, one of the top quarterback prospects in the class of 2020, committed to LSU on Wednesday night.

What makes Johnson’s decision particularly displeasing for Miami fans is the fact that Johnson is the nephew of Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt.

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In the message announcing his decision, Johnson thanked Richt for extending him his first scholarship offer. But that and family ties were not enough to land Johnson’s commitment.

Johnson chose LSU over Miami and in-state Georgia

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefty, is rated by the sixth-best pro-style quarterback in the class of 2020. The Watkinsville, Georgia, native, the son of longtime NFL quarterback Brad Johnson, was being hotly pursued by the Hurricanes and in-state Georgia (Johnson’s high school is about 15 minutes from Georgia’s campus), but opted to commit to Ed Orgeron and the Tigers after numerous visits to campus.

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Top football coaches' salary

25. Navy

Coach Ken Niumatalolo has been at Navy since 2007. He made a cool $2 million for 2016. Navy finished 9-3 in the regular season, then went on to lose 48-45 to Louisiana Tech in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

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24. Temple

Matt Rhule has been Temple head coach since 2013, starting out as an assistant coach and then moving up to head coach in 2015. His take-home base salary for 2016 was a little more than $1 million. Temple went 10-3 this season, then lost to Wake Forest in the Military Bowl, 34-26.

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23. Pittsburgh

Pat Narduzzi will cash out with a nice $2 million base salary for 2016, his second year as a head coach there. Pitt went 8-4 for the season, followed by a 31-24 loss to Northwestern in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

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22. Virginia Tech 

It was Justin Fuente’s first year as head coach of the Hokies, and he did pretty well for himself, with a $3.2 million base salary. VA Tech went 9-4 on the year and beat Arkansas 35-24 in the Belk Bowl.

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21. Tennessee

Butch Jones just finished his fourth year as head coach at Tennessee, where he earned a base salary of $4.1 million. The Volunteers were 8-4 in the regular season and beat Nebraska 38-24 in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

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20. LSU

Les Miles, the coach since 2005 at Louisiana State University, was making a $4.3 million base salary when he was fired four games into the 2016 season. His replacement, Ed Orgeron, signed on for a little less: a reported $3 million to $4 million. LSU went 7-4 on the year before beating Louisville in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, 29-9.

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19. Utah 

Kyle Whittingham has spent his entire head coaching career at Utah. Ten years ago he was making $672,000; for 2016 he earned a base salary of $3.65 million. Utah went 8-4 on the season before beating Indiana 26-24 in the Foster Farms Bowl. 

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18. Stanford

David Shaw has been coaching at Stanford since he started coaching, first as an assistant and then as head coach, just finishing up his sixth year. He nearly doubled his salary from 2015 to 2016, making more than $4 million this past year. Stanford went 9-3 for 2016, then beat North Carolina in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, 25-23.

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17. Florida

The Gators have had their fair share of coaches. Finishing up his second year, Jim McElwain pulled in a base salary of more than $4.2 million. The team went 8-4 on the 2016 season, then beat Iowa 30-3 in the Outback Bowl.

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16. West Virginia

Dana Holgorsen has been at West Virginia for six years now, and he made nearly $3 million base salary for 2016. The school had a 10-2 record for the regular season, then lost to Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, 31-14.

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15. Western Michigan

Hats off to P.J. Fleck, who led the Broncos to a perfect 13-0 season in 2016. Unfortunately, post-season wasn’t as good to the team, as Western Michigan lost to Wisconsin, 24-16, in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Fleck earned a little more than $820,000 this past season, far less than coaches of teams that lost a few games. 

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14. Auburn

Gus Malzahn took the Tigers to an 8-4 season before losing to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, 34-19. Malzahn pulled in $4.7 million this past year, his fourth year as head coach for Auburn.

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13. Louisville

After receiving a new seven-year contract with Louisville in 2016, Bobby Petrino took home a nearly $4 million base salary as the head coach of the Cardinals. He led his team to a 9-3 season before falling to LSU, 29-9, in the Citrus Bowl.

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12. Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy made $3.75 million at Oklahoma State this past season, when the Cowboys went 9-3 in the regular season and beat Colorado in the Valero Alamo Bowl, 38-8.

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11. Florida State

Jimbo Fisher is the fifth-highest-paid NCAA head coach, pulling in $5.25 million for the 2016 season. The Seminoles went 9-3 this past year before beating Michigan, 33-32, in the Capital One Orange Bowl. 

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10. Colorado 

The Buffaloes finished 10-3 in the regular season, before losing 38-8 to Oklahoma State in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Head coach Mike MacIntyre got a base salary of more than $2 million this last season.

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9. USC

Clay Helton has been at Southern California for a few years, but last year was his first full season as head coach. As a private school, USC is not required to disclose salary information. Some sites report a $3.6 million payout for last year, but it hasn’t been confirmed. USC went 9-3 this past season and went on to beat Penn State, 52-49, in the Rose Bowl.

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8. Wisconsin

Paul Chryst wrapped his second year as head coach of the Badgers with a 10-3 performance from his team. Wisconsin then won 24-16 in the Cotton Bowl over Western Michigan, and Chryst made $2.7 million for the year.

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7. Oklahoma

Bob Stoops is the fourth-highest-paid head coach in the country — earning $5.5 million this past season. The Sooners went 10-2 on the year before beating Auburn 35-19 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

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6. Michigan

No NCAA head coach makes more money than Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines’ coach pulled in $9 million during the 2016 season as his team went 10-2 on the year, then followed up with a 33-32 loss to Florida State in the Capital One Orange Bowl. 

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5. Penn State

James Franklin is the 10th-highest-paid head coach in college football, making $4.5 million in 2016. The Nittany Lions went 11-2 this season before losing to USC in the Rose Bowl, 52-49.

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4. Washington

With a $3.6 million paycheck for the year, Chris Petersen is the 25th-highest-paid head coach. His team, the Washington Huskies, went 12-1 in the regular season this year before losing to Alabama in the Peach Bowl College Football Playoffs semifinal, 24-7.

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3. Ohio State

As the third-highest-paid head coach in college football, Urban Meyer pulled in $6 million this past year. The Buckeyes went 11-1 in the regular season before losing to Clemson, 31-0, in the Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoffs semifinals.

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2. Clemson

Dabo Swinney, head coach at Clemson since 2008, pulled in more than $4.4 million for 2016 as the Tigers went 12-1 for the regular season, making them one of the best teams in college football. Clemson upset top-ranked Alabama in the National Championship Game, 35-31.

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1. Alabama

The Crimson Tide went 13-0 in the regular season but lost to Clemson in the National Championship Game, 35-31. Longtime head coach Nick Saban is one of the most successful college football coaches in history, and his salary reflects that. He ends his season with a base salary of nearly $7 million, making him the second-highest-paid college football coach.

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As evidenced by the need to bring in Joe Burrow from Ohio State this season, LSU has been searching for an upper-tier quarterback to lead its team for years. Johnson, the highest-ranked QB to commit to LSU in nearly a decade, could be the one.

From’s Chad Simmons:

The obvious is the obvious — Johnson is elite. Johnson is a 6-foot-4, 215 pound south-paw with a great frame, a live arm and a great understanding of the game. His father is Brad Johnson, a former Florida State and NFL quarterback, so the new LSU commit has the benefit of working day to day with someone who has played the game at the highest level.

As a passer, Johnson surprises some with his arm and his touch. He throws a beautiful deep ball and he really processes things quickly. He is very strong mentally and he is advanced when reading coverages and making decisions. What may surprise people the most about Johnson is his athleticism. He can dunk a basketball and he is more mobile than many expect. He is an all-around quarterback with size, toughness, arm strength and the ability to lead.

Miami does not have a QB commit in 2019 or 2020

Johnson becomes the seventh prospect to commit to LSU in the 2020 class, which is currently ranked No. 4 in the country on

Miami has 10 commits and the second-ranked class, but has yet to land a quarterback — in 2019 or 2020. With Rosier graduating and Perry struggling this year, quarterback recruiting has to be one of the top priorities for Richt and his staff.

Richt brought in two quarterbacks in 2017 — Perry and Cade Weldon. Weldon saw action in two games before he was suspended for four games for violating team rules. True freshman Jarren Williams signed with the Hurricanes in 2018 and played in one game this year. He will take a redshirt.

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