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Counting Down the Mountain West 2000's Decade Greatest Players: #4 Brian Johnson QB Utah

The countdown of the top 10 list of players of the decade started out with the honorable mention list and now we are moving to the fourth the best player of the past decade.

#4 Brian Johnson QB Utah (2004-2008)

  • All time winner for a QB at Utah (27)
  • All-MWC Second team (2005)
  • MWC Offensive player of the year (2008)
  • All-MWC First team (2008)
  • 2009 Sugar Bowl MVP

Some may see this spot is not worthy as Max Hall who was fifth on the list, because of the conference titles and passing records.  However, Brian Johnson was a clutch quarterback and won several come from behind games as well as demolishing heavy favorite Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.  The Sugar Bowl win may have never happened because Brian Johnson had to redshirt in 2006 after tearing his ACL in late 2005.  That knee injury slowed down his running abilities which he was very good at, but that injury allowed him to be able to study more.

He was an exceptional player and was the backup to Alex Smith during Utah's first BCS run in 2004, and he played in that game.  His career was shortened and lengthened by injuries: the 2005 ACL injury extended to the 2008 Sugar Bowl win, but in 2007 he separated his shoulder and missed almost half of the season.