Johnny Stanton - Nebraska
Johnny Stanton was a game-changing quarterback both as a passer and runner for Coach Harry Welch at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Stanton’s senior season was cut short by a knee injury in week five. Before he was injured, Stanton helped his team to a consensus ranking among the nation’s top five prep teams. In his shortened season, Stanton completed 59-of-88 passes for 949 yards and 12 touchdowns, while rushing for 386 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 47 carries. Stanton’s efforts earned him September’s National High School Coaches Association/GTM Sportswear Athlete of the Month award. Santa Margarita was 5-0 at the time of Stanton’s injury and went on to finish with a 9-3 record.
Stanton was one of California’s most dynamic offensive players in the 2011 season, helping Santa Margarita to a 13-2 record and the CIF Southern Section Division I state title. Stanton completed better than 60 percent of his passes for 2,439 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,428 yards and 21 touchdowns. Stanton was the first-team quarterback on the Los Angeles Times All-Area team and was the MVP of the SouthernCaliforniaPreps.com All-Pac 5 football team. As a sophomore in 2010, Stanton started at safety for the Santa Margarita defense and also logged time at quarterback. Stanton made 72 tackles on defense, while posting 375 passing yards and 223 rushing yards. Stanton showed his quarterback ability in leading a comeback win against St. John Bosco as a sophomore, throwing for 185 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. Stanton was generally regarded as one of the nation’s top dual-threat QB prospects, ranking among the top 15 overall dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation by both 247 Sports and Rivals.com, while Fox Sports Next ranked him among the nation’s top 30 quarterbacks overall. He was also regarded as one of the top 40 players in California. Stanton was also a finalist at the prestigious Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in 2012 in California. Johnny's 1-yard run in final seconds to beat Bellarmine in the 2011 State Championship game was voted #1 on the Top 10 Greatest CIF Bowl Game Moments by MaxPreps.
Stanton was named the Rebels’ starting quarterback going into his first season with the team and completed 50-of-107 passes for 676 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions while also rushing 231 yards and a touchdown. He suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth game of the season. As a redshirt senior, he played fullback as well as on defense and special teams and also started three games at quarterback. Stanton finished the season with 724 passing yards with four touchdown passes and two interceptions while also rushing for 96 yards and two touchdowns and recorded nine tackles on defense and blocked a punt and returned one punt for 19 yards on special teams.