Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson has accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 22, 2011.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound senior, holds 24 Texas A&M school records including career total offense (8,888 yards), career passing yards (8,011), career completions (650) and career touchdown passes (67). From 2008-09, he broke the Big 12 record with 242 pass attempts without an interception.
His senior season didn't go as planned. Named the Big 12 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, Johnson struggled to start, throwing eight interceptions combined in games against Florida International and Oklahoma State. After a 3-3 start to the season, Johnson was benched midway through a win over Kansas in favor of Ryan Tannehill, who helped the Aggies win six games to close their season.
Johnson underwent minor offseason shoulder surgery, but never looked like the same player in 2010 as he did in his record-setting 2009 campaign. He paid a recent visit to renowned surgeon James Andrews, known for his work on quarterbacks like Drew Brees and more recently in the Big 12, Sam Bradford. Both of them returned from injuries and have had big success.
Johnson was projected as a late-round pick before the season, but his struggles caused him to fall off the draft board. That said, any college quarterback with Johnson's pedigree will get a chance in camp somewhere, and an impressive week at the Shrine Game would help Johnson re-attract the attention of scouts and land in a desirable spot come post-draft minicamps or fall training camp.
Iowa State safety David Sims, a juco transfer named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2009, has also accepted an invitation to the game.