Johns Wants to Show MSU More QB Skills

Alabama sophomore Jimmy Johns had some things to get off his chest Tuesday when he met with reporters.

Johns said he sought out Croom after the Tide's 17-0 win over Mississippi State (Johns caused a fumble on kickoff coverage which Matt Miller scooped up and took into the end zone for a touchdown), but that Croom wasn't in the mood to talk.

"No, he never even looked at me," Johns said. "I tried to find him. But after the game, he ran off the field."

"He thinks I betrayed him," Johns continued. "I never betrayed him because I never committed to him. He was in a lead of my recruiting and I told him when he was sitting in my living room, that if I was to sign today, I was going to sign with him. But I hadn't been to Alabama yet. I came over here and I feel in love over here."

"I got my word. I never committed to him."

For background, the running back from Brookhaven, Mississippi was recruited heavily by Mississippi State and its head coach, Sylvester Croom. Croom apparently thought he had Johns all wrapped up, and when the Mr. Football in Mississippi committed to the Crimson Tide, it felt like a steal of a deal for Alabama.

Johns was a quarterback when he was being recruited, and Croom had reportedly told Johns that one good reason not to go to Alabama was because he would never play quarterback there, which he wanted to do.

Johns did play quarterback – for the first time against LSU a week after Croom's postgame comments. But Johns has primarily been a running back, a role he has been comfortable in. He returns to quarterback in special packages, as he did last week when Tide starter John Parker Wilson went down.

"I hope I get a lot of snaps at quarterback because everybody's going to see how it can work and how we can perfect it," he said. "It's moving the chains and getting yardage out of it. I hope the coaches continue using that package. There are so many things you can do with it and I hope we can open it up this week."

Johns' position coach, running backs coach Sparky Woods, who was offensive coordinator at Mississippi State under Jackie Sherrill, understood Croom's anxiousness but downplayed it.

"I'm sure it is a big game for him," Woods said. "We try not to talk about individuals to much during the season. We try to focus on team."


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