UNC football transfer quarterback speaks to the local media for the first time

For the first time since transferring to the UNC football program, quarterback Max Johnson spent some time speaking to the media.

Max Johnson dropping back against Ole Miss
Max Johnson dropping back against Ole Miss / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Drake Maye's departure for the NFL Draft left the UNC football program perilously thin at quarterback.

This was exposed in full at the Duke's Mayo Bowl; redshirt freshman Conner Harrell was handed the start more or less by default because he was the only person in the quarterback room at the time who had thrown a collegiate pass. The Tar Heels went a long way toward fixing that problem when they convinced former Texas A&M quarterback Max Johnson to come to Chapel Hill.

Johnson, a fifth-year senior from Athens, Georgia, spoke with local media on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since arriving in Chapel Hill. Watch footage from Inside Carolina here.

Johnson said one big factor in his decision to sign with UNC football was the rapport he built with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. He spoke highly of LIndsey's offensive scheme, which he said gives him the chance to "make big plays" while at the same time "getting us in the right play at the right time." Another factor was the prospect of playing alongside his brother Jake, a tight end who also transferred from Texas A&M.

He was also sold on the other quarterbacks who have come through Chapel Hill in recent years. In particular, he was pleased with how Lindsey and head coach Mack Brown turned Maye into a potential "number one or number two" pick this coming spring. For example, he liked how Maye was able to "make plays deep, intermediate (and) short"; he'd hoped to land at a program that allowed him to do the same thing.

When Johnson saw Lindsey's offense, it reminded him a lot of the offense he ran during his freshman year at LSU; at the time, LSU ran a spread offense similar to what UNC football runs now. Johnson was intrigued by this, particularly how it gave receivers a lot of freedom, and concurrently a lot of responsibility, "to be right and make plays." This was in marked contrast to the pro-style offense he ran for the past two years at Texas A&M.

Johnson knows that he won't essentially be gifted the starting job over Harrell. He's already built up a good relationship with Harrell; he played a round of golf with Harrell a few days earlier.

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