Ute quarterback candidate for Golden Arm Award

Brian Johnson can add his name to the pre-season publicity that has surrounded the U football team, as the senior quarterback has been nominated as one of 26 candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Unlike most awards which take into account strictly on-field performance, the Golden Arm Award’s criteria includes athletic success, academic achievement and off-field citizenship.

Johnson has been a highly touted quarterback ever since he arrived as a freshman under then head coach Urban Meyer and played backup to former No. 1 pick Alex Smith in 2004. Since then, Johnson has started every season with much anticipation, but has yet to have an injury-free season.

After returning from a shoulder injury he suffered in the Utes’ season-opener against Oregon State, Johnson led the Utes to an 8-1 record, including a six-game winning streak. Johnson is also fresh off an Offensive MVP performance at the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl. He is second on Utah’s all-time list for completion percentage, at 65 percent, and is fourth in total offensive yards with 5,601.

Johnson’s work in the classroom has been equally impressive. Johnson finished a bachelor’s degree in mass communications in the spring, and is currently pursuing a second degree. He carries a 3.32 cumulative GPA and is a three-time Academic All-MWC honoree.

Johnson is a big reason why Utah is picked by many national polls to compete with BYU for the MWC title and possibly a second BCS Bowl game in his five-year stint at Utah.

[email protected]

Lennie Mahler

Entering his Senior year Utah Quarterback Brian Johnson is receiving national attention for his performance on and off the field.