Profiles: Johnson takes QB reins for 2013 season

Hobe Brunson

Quarterback Xavier Johnson goes back to pass during preseason practice. Johnson is filling the shoes of Nicky Frizen.

Any football fan – or even anyone who has any familiarity with the sport at all – knows that you can’t win a game without a quarterback.

And after the 2012 season, Bearden found itself having to replace one of the program’s greatest ever signal callers.

The Bulldogs were left with a sizable gap in their roster after the graduation of two-year starter Nicky Frizen. However, that hole has been filled by Central transfer Xavier Johnson.

Johnson enters the Bearden football program as a senior known for his speed and agility, as well as his high football IQ and strategic “on-the-spot” thinking. Once the starting quarterback at Central, Johnson moved into the Bearden area with his mother in November and began workouts with the Bulldogs at the beginning of summer.

“Bearden definitely has much more tradition than Central did and it seems like the team has stronger chemistry which is important if you want to succeed,” Johnson said.

He has shown coaches and players alike his athleticism and the abilities he had shown at Central, but he also introduced them to the work ethic that he brings.

“Xavier is always eager to go above and beyond in practice and is always working on improving,” Coach Brad Taylor said. “He has a great mentality for the game and is willing to take advice as well.”

Johnson got off to a nice start in a Bearden uniform in Thursday’s Jamboree. The Bulldogs won 7-0, thanks to a 7-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to another transfer, running back Malachi Horton.

“The thing about Xavier is that he learns from his mistakes and so he is constantly getting better,” senior offensive tackle Chandler Greer said. “He is extremely intelligent and personally I think he has a chance at all district honors.”

Johnson definitely has a lot to offer considering his ability to think before he throws and his capability of running with the ball so, understandably, many have high expectations for this year.

“Obviously, the highest goal is State, but I also have a lot riding on this season because this is it for me and I don’t get to do it again,” Johnson said. “I want to end my high school career on a high point.”

With the talent that he possesses, that seems like a fair expectation.

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