2013 Signee Spotlight: Johnny Stanton

Four-star quarterback Johnny Stanton picked the Huskers after a long summer camp tour.

Johnny Stanton

6-foot-2, 220 pounds / Santa Margarita Catholic


"Nicknamed Johnny "Tebow" by his classmates, Stanton displays a lot of the same characteristics of the former Heisman trophy winner. He is a fullback type of runner that can knock most linebackers backwards who is an adequate passer. Stanton will never be confused with an Air Raid spread drop back passer, but he can make the necessary throws, is accurate on short and intermediate throws and can move the chains by himself."
Scott Kennedy, Director of Scouting for FOX Sports


Senior Honors: N/A (hurt for half of the season)

Senior Stats: 59-of-88, for 949 yards and 12 touchdowns, while rushing for 386 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 47 carries.

The Lowdown: There might not have been a more interesting quarterback prospect in the nation for the 2013 class than Stanton. A four-star prospect and rated No. 27 at his position, Stanton led the Eagles to the CIF-SS Pac-5 title and the CIF State D-I title in 2011, throwing for 2,439 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for 1,528 yards and 25 scores. But, his impressive leadership and big time stats weren't enough for many teams to offer on the spot – most told him they needed to see him camp.

The Elite 11 quarterback made summer trips to UCLA, Utah, Nebraska, Oregon State, Oregon, and Washington State - impressing almost everyone who got to lay eyes on him.

"Coach Tim Beck watched me in their indoor practice facility and I threw for about an hour maybe an hour and a half. I kind of lost track of time," said Stanton shortly after throwing for Nebraska during the summer. "I thought that I threw real well."

Apparently so did Nebraska, because the Huskers offered less than 48 hours later. Just two weeks later, Stanton was back on campus, this time with both parents trying to determine if Lincoln was where he wanted to be. In the end it was and the California signal-caller made it official in early July.

"I really chose Nebraska because of the feel of the school. I loved how if was just around the campus when I was there on my second visit," said Stanton at the time. "I really liked having a chance to hang out with the players also."

With his recruitment behind him, Stanton entered his senior year ready to help lead Santa Margarita Catholic back to another title. Early in the season, the Eagles were ranked by FOX Sports NEXT as one of the top three teams in the nation – with Stanton playing a huge role in the ranking.

But game five would prove costly for the four-star prospect. Sometime in the first quarter, Stanton tore his ACL. Playing on the injured knee the rest of the way, he still made several big plays, including leading the Eagles on a go-ahead touchdown to stay 5-0. His toughness and ability to gut out an injury of that magnitude drew praise from scouts across the country.

Why Nebraska: "I had great relationships with the coaches and players and I like how I fit in with the offense. I know I'll have to come and compete wherever I go so I was never concerned about depth charts or things like that. It was tough because the other schools were great as well but I think it always comes down to gut feel and for me, that was Nebraska."

Who Else: California, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin

Who Recruited Him: Tim Beck and Rich Fisher

BRR Projection: With Taylor Martinez and Tommy Armstrong in front of him, Stanton has time to fully recover from his knee injury during the 2013 season - setting up an interesting 2014 spring battle between himself and Armstrong for the starting job. Stanton has great size, he's tough, and is a proven winner, much of the same characteristics Armstrong possess. Stanton's straight-line speed won't help him run by most defensive backs, but they won't catch if he's already run them over.