LSU quarterback Max Johnson will enter the NCAA Transfer Portal, he announced on Twitter on Tuesday night. Johnson wrapped up his second season at LSU, where he earned the starting quarterback job in fall camp after a strong finish to his freshman campaign in 2020.

“LSU, Thank you for allowing me to pursue my academic and athletic career here,” Johnson said on Twitter. “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.”

The move to the portal leaves LSU with two scholarship quarterbacks, Garrett Nussmeier, who redshirted as a true freshman in 2021, and Walker Howard, who will arrive in January as a true freshman. Nussmeier, could have to play in the Texas Bowl on Jan. 4, if LSU doesn’t opt to play backup Matt O’Dowd, who was the backup for the final game against Texas A&M. That’d burn Nussmeier’s redshirt.

In 2021, Johnson suffered behind an inconsistent offensive line, run game and losing star playmaker Kayshon Boutte. The Georgia native completed 225-of-373 passes for 2,814 yards and 27 touchdowns to six interceptions. He completed 60.3 percent of his passes.

For his LSU career, he finishes 313-of-523 for 3,883 yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Johnson led LSU to wins over a Top 10 Florida team on the road and Ole Miss at home to close out the 2020 season.

New LSU head coach Brian Kelly said last week that he wasn’t familiar with the roster, but would have to recruit plenty of players to stay in the day and age of the transfer portal. Johnson was the second player to transfer on Tuesday, joining wide receiver Deion Smith, who is expected to enter the portal.

“I would be disingenuous to tell you that I know this roster inside and out, I know the players, I know what the makeup is,” Kelly said at his introductory press conference. “I know some of the areas of concern that we have to address. That’s why I’m standing here, and we’ve got some work to do. But we have time. We have time to address those things. We don’t have forever, but we have to address those things in short order. I know that when we talk about priorities of decision making, holding on and recruiting the guys that have made decisions, we’ve got to go re-recruit them because this class is important.

“Then we’ll have time to sit down with current members that have been here that have great knowledge of the players, become more educated, and we’ll make that happen over the next couple of weeks.” 

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