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Where does Jaquez Johnson rank as the best quarterback in FAU history?

Is Johnson the best to ever do it?

Steve Mitchell

This Saturday Jaquez Johnson will trot out onto Schellenberger Field for the final time when Florida Atlantic takes on Middle Tennessee State on senior day this Saturday.

Johnson has come a long ways from being a lightly recruited junior college player to becoming one of the best players in FAU history.

But is Johnson the best quarterback to ever play at FAU?

As a junior college transfer from Starkville, Mississippi, Johnson was able to win the job away from Greg Hankerson and DJ Juste in 2013 to start the season opener against Miami (FL) and has been the team's starting quarterback ever since.

After undergoing years of forgettable play at the quarterback position (Jeff Van Camp, Graham Wilbert, David Kooi, and Stephen Curtis), Johsnon was able to finally provide stability at the quarterback position Owl fans had yet to see since Rusty Smith was taking snaps from under center.

In his first season Johnson started 11 games and threw for 1876 yards, 12 touchdowns and rushed for 772 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He went 6-5 as the starting quarterback as FAU finished the season on a four-game winning streak, their longest winning streak since 2008.

To put it simply, he was amazing.

Johnson was named Conference USA 2013 "Newcomer of the Year" and became the first player in FAU history to receive a postseason award from the conference.

In 2014 Johnson was even better as he passed for 2215 yards and 17 touchdowns. He cutdown his interceptions from eight to five and continued to be a force on the ground as he rushed for 513 yards and seven touchdowns.

Unfortunately, the improved quarterback play from Johnson didn't translate to wins as FAU finished 3-9 and went 2-4 in one possession games during Charlie Partridge's first year as head coach.

Entering his final season I believed Johnson would go down as the best quarterback in FAU history as he needed 11 more rushing touchdowns to surpass Alfred Morris for most rushing touchdowns in FAU history, was tied for third on the list for all-time passing touchdowns, and was fourth for most passing yards by an FAU player.

But Johnson's senior campaign has gone anything but planned as ankle injuries has hampered his mobility and have kept him from looking like the player we've been accustomed to seeing for two years.

In seven games this season Johnson has 1136 passing yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. He has hardly looked like the player searching for defenders to run over as he has rushed for 207 yards and one touchdown.

With FAU's best player playing hurt all season, the team has been out of sorts as they sit with a 2-7 record.

With three games left as FAU's starting quarterback Johnson currently holds an 11-18 record as a starter. He will finish his career 2-1 against rival FIU.

Some fans may pin some of those loses on Johnson - the Wyoming game most definitely - and will reason that he simply can't go down as the second or best quarterback in school history because of it.

After all, quarterbacks are judged by their win-loss record, not just stats accumulated.

Some will say that he was never as good a passer as Smith or Jared Allen therefore he can't be.

Not me.

Despite the losing record as a starting quarterback Johnson has been the face of the FAU football team the last three seasons and joined the team at a critical point when the football program lacked an identity for the students to get around.

If not for injuries there's no doubt Johnson would be all over the FAU record books.

Johnson may not have the wins Rusty Smith has or Jared Allen's passing yards but for me Johnson will go down as the best quarterback in school history.

When Jaquez Johnson's name is roared through the PA system during the senior day festivities this Saturday I hope the students and fans treat him as such.