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

It has been a tough year for Mark Richt and Miami. The Hurricanes are just 7-5 entering bowl play. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
It has been a tough year for Mark Richt and Miami. The Hurricanes are just 7-5 entering bowl play. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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.

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Johnson chose LSU over Miami and in-state Georgia

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefty, is rated by Rivals.com 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.

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 Rivals.com’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.

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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 Rivals.com.

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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