Matt Johnson, the redshirt junior out of Bishop McDevitt High School, stunned Mid-American Conference fans during the 2013 season. Johnson was inserted during the third series of BG's first game versus Tulsa, replacing veteran three-year starter Matt Schilz. Johnson took this opportunity that was presented to him and never looked back, having an absolute incredible season for the Falcons.
The first-year starter played in all 14 games for the Falcons starting 13 of them. During these 14 games, Johnson gave the Bowling Green offense a spark that they haven't seen since the days of Urban Meyer and Josh Harris. During the Tulsa game, Johnson proved himself as a dual threat quarterback posting 151 yards through the air and 50 yards on the ground in his first true appearance as a Falcon. He lead BG to a 34-7 win against the Golden Hurricanes and with this performance made a solid case for himself to be the starter.
Matty J had his coming out party against Kent State as he threw for 357 yards, completing 19 of 27 passes. This performance against Kent was enough to earn him the honor of MAC East Player of the Week and overall solidify himself in the eyes of both fans and coaches as the Bowling Green starting quarterback.
Johnson torched secondaries around the MAC throughout the season leading his Falcons to a MAC championship berth against the 12th ranked team in the nation in Northern Illinois. During the championship game Johnson continued his tear of exceptional play, absolutely dismantling NIU's secondary and showing up the potential Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch. The Championship game was arguably his best game of the season as he threw for 393 yards and five touchdowns. Matty J was named the MVP of the championship game and ultimately showed to his followers that he was in fact the real deal. Overall Johnson compiled 3,467 yards, which ranks fourth in school history for a season; and his 25 touchdowns ranks fourth most in a single season.
This incredible 2013 season led to Johnson's name being displayed on many watch lists and preseason accolades for the upcoming season.
"These are things that are nice to have, it does feel good to be recognized." Johnson told Hustle Belt. "At the end of the day they're just preseason accolades based on last years performance, I am only focused on the future and the upcoming season."
With Dino Babers at the helm of this offense now, Matty J could be in for a huge season. Babers was able to groom Jimmy Garoppolo into an NFL quarterback, and Johnson looks to follow in those footsteps. With the weapons that he has on offense this season look for Matty J shatter some BG records this season and set himself up to be an NFL prospect for his senior season.
Johnson also spoke on what it meant to be named the best player in the MAC by us here at Hustle Belt.
"Its an honor, I didn't think that I was going to be rated number one considering all of the great players in the MAC." Johnson said. "There have been so many great players ranked number one by Hustle Belt that have gone on to do great things, it is a special group to be apart of."
Johnson will be the key to success for the Falcon offense this season and look for him to post off the chart numbers in his second year as the BG starter.