Gabriel Johnson is a 2021, 6’5” 210-pound gun-slinging quarterback from Wilmington, NC, with 4.85 forty speed and an astounding ability to dissect defenses at the line of scrimmage. He had several Power 5 schools recruiting him until his sophomore year where he endured a recruiting setback due to a hand injury during the third round of the playoffs. He threw 20 TD’s, 1900 yards while going deep into the playoffs. Gabriel was selected to the All-Conference MEC Team and was a team leader at the young age of 15. Impressively, Gabe takes AP classes and has an astounding 4.3 GPA. We asked Gabe a few questions about why he wants to be an LSU Tiger and below are his responses.
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a rising senior from Wilmington North Carolina, near Wrightsville Beach. I have been playing the position of quarterback since I was eight years old. I am a two-sport athlete, but elected to drop baseball my sophomore year to focus on football. I have always worked hard to earn the respect of my teammates and coaches. In baseball, I played the position of third base and pitcher. As a quarterback, I feel at home behind my offensive line. I am very calm and in control of my offense and can deviate the play when challenged to do so. I take mostly AP classes and currently have a 4.3 GPA. I live and breathe football!
What made you want to be an LSU Tiger? I want to play for a National Champion, or at least a chance to contend for a championship. LSU gives players opportunities that other colleges do not, such as Joe Burrow and Justin Jefferson. I get pumped up just thinking about it.
Have you ever eaten crawfish or gumbo before? I can’t say I have ever eaten either crawfish or gumbo. Living at the beach, I do love shrimp so it is probably a matter of time before I transition over to crawfish and other Cajun and Creole dishes.
What are your thoughts on Coach Eaux? First thing I think of is that rich, distinctive voice. Everyone knows that Coach Eaux is one of the best college coaches in football. He is famous for finding talent that others have given up on, showcasing them in the spotlight, and turning them into NFL draft picks. I also know that Coach Eaux cares about the man behind the helmet and it shows on and off of the field. He is not a bad actor as he demonstrated in the movie Blindside.
When did you begin playing football and what drew you into the sport? I begin to play football when I was around eight years old. I was told in baseball that I had a really good arm and so I tried playing quarterback. After I threw my first touchdown, I was hooked and I never looked at another position on the field again.
Who do you model your game after? Aaron Rodgers, I love his accuracy and ability to throw on the run and adjust on the fly. Aaron is one of the smartest, hard working quarterbacks in football. I love how he makes plays and has one of the best arms in the NFL. Although, I am compared to Phillip Rivers most of the time.
What is your proudest football moment or memory? My proudest football memory was in the beginning of my sophomore year. We were playing a very solid non-conference team, Carolina Forrest. We were down two touchdowns entering the fourth quarter. The coaches leaned on me to navigate the team down the field twice against a really tough defense and bring the team back to tie the game. That was the first time I was really recognized for my skill and talent as a quarterback.
How has COVID19 and Quarantine affected your life? Positively and negatively, positively it allowed me to focus more on myself and train harder. I have been able to build muscle and get faster than before. I have put on twenty pounds of muscle in the last six months. I have been able to throw with receivers, but have had to do this away from school. Negatively, I miss the team atmosphere and my coaches and the ability to get better under their supervision.
Who is your favorite LSU player (past or present) and why? Joe Burrow. He is on record for having had the best season a quarterback has ever had and brought home the championship to LSU. Joe had to deal with the adversity of playing behind other quarterbacks in Ohio most of his college career. Coach Eaux took a chance on Joe because he saw his potential. Joe’s hard work, team leadership and perseverance catapulted his game to excellence. Joe’s ability to overcome adversity has motivated me to not let obstacles stand in my way and to keep grinding toward my goals!
Aside from football, what do you enjoy most during your free time? Fishing, especially for bass, working out, and hanging with my friends at the beach. I also enjoy the movies but now I seem to do more fishing since the theaters are closed. I’m working on catching one of those monster bass!
What life lesson has football taught you? Football has taught me to keep pushing and constantly evolve because there is always someone wanting to take your job! Life is not always fair, fight through the storms when they come as they will eventually pass!
What is something unique about you that most people do not know? I have a twin sister that is also very athletic that can play any sport, but she specializes in beach volleyball. I have a photographic memory and can memorize plays and dissect defenses off the cuff! Also, I have never missed a practice for football or baseball.
What do you want LSU fans to know about you? I want LSU fans to know that I have the work ethic, leadership skills, and ability to bring LSU another championship. I have been working almost ten years to get there, and no one has worked harder to make their team better. I will bring all the spices and mojo we need to build yet another championship team. Geaux Tigers!
Click here to check out Gabe’s highlights.