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January 16, 2013

PREP FOOTBALL: Auburn commit Johnson wins Mr. Football

MONTGOMERY —  Carver-Montgomery High School quarterback Jeremy Johnson has accomplished one goal by becoming Alabama's Mr. Football. Now, he's chasing another and hoping to compete for Auburn's starting job.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association selected Johnson as the state's top high school player Wednesday in the closest voting in the award's 31-year history. He received 170 points to edge Fultondale quarterback ArDarius Stewart by two points. Madison Academy running back Kerryon Johnson was third with 112 points.

"My heart was beating fast, because I knew I wanted to win this award, to be the first in Carver history to ever win this award," Johnson said. "Now, I'm in the history book at Carver and it's a blessing."

The 6-foot-6, 219-pound Johnson has verbally committed to Auburn and held firm after Gene Chizik's firing and Gus Malzahn's hiring. He said coaches want him to put on 15 pounds before the season, but he's hoping to quickly contend for the starting spot in a position that nobody has nailed down the past two seasons since Cam Newton left for the NFL.

"I've got a mind-set of just playing," Johnson said. "That's what I love to do. I'm just going in to put on weight and try to win the starting position."

Johnson passed for 3,193 yards and 31 touchdowns and also rushed for 705 yards.

Carver's coach, Billy Gresham, praised his star quarterback on and off the field.

"He's a phenomenal football player and just a great kid," Gresham said. "He loves sports. He loves playing the game."

Fultondale's Stewart is an Alabama commitment who was named the Class 2A back of the year for the second straight season.

Two other Alabama commits — Autauga Academy tight end O.J. Howard (AISA lineman of the year) and Spanish Fort defensive back Johnny Cook (5A back) — won statewide awards for their classification.

Johnson was 6A back of the year while Auburn High School linebacker Rueben Foster won honors as the top lineman.

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