Former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson, a former five-star recruit who transferred from the program to Northwestern following the 2017 season, will return to the Tigers for a final season of eligibility this fall, he announced Monday.
It’s notable as Clemson brings in a transfer, something that Dabo Swinney has steered from while the transfer portal has become a regular option for most Division One programs in recent years.
Johnson brings a veteran presence to a quarterback room that includes returning starter D.J. Uiagalelei and incoming five-star Cade Klubnik.
“I initially reached out to Coach Swinney to honestly see if he had any GA spots,” Johnson told 247Sports. “My girlfriend we went to Clemson together and we been looking at going back down South and reached out to him about GAing because I wanted to get my MBA. I reached out to him and he asked if I had my sixth year because of Covid and I told him I still did. It wasn’t really my intention initially of calling him. It was pretty exciting and I took a day or so to think over things and it felt like it was a great situation for me and her all around and just being able to go finish my sixth year and play at a place I’ve grown to love over the years and be part of the room. That’s what he told me, he wants to have somebody in the room who’s older who’s had some experience in college football and the fact I already been there and been in the system and know the system helps even more. He thought it would be a really really cool situation.”
In the 2017 season with the Tigers, Johnson appeared in seven games completing 21 of 27 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns.
He played in the 2019 and 2021 seasons at Northwestern, completing 95 of 183 attempts for 856 yards and five touchdowns.
He won Mr. Football in the state of Indiana coming out of high school.
Overall, Johnson is the second transfer quarterback to come to the Tigers during Swinney’s tenure as Stanford graduate transfer David Olson arrived at Clemson in 2014.