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Johns Hopkins football thriving on quarterback Jonathan Germano's career year

When Jim Margraff tapped Jonathan Germano to start the season as Johns Hopkins' quarterback, the coach had an idea about the junior's potential.

But even Margraff is the first to admit that Germano has exceeded many expectations. In his first season as a full-time starter for the No. 11 Blue Jays (8-0 overall, 7-0 Centennial Conference), Germano ranks second in NCAA Division III in completion percentage (72.0), sixth in passing efficiency (178.5) and 12th in yards per pass attempt (9.2) and is tied for 11th in passing touchdowns (23).

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"This is what we hoped for, but not anticipated," Margraff said Wednesday. "He's really done a great job this year. If not for a couple drops, his numbers could be even better. But he's played very well and made some great decisions. He's a guy that makes things happen. We went into the season knowing we might have to weather a couple of storms when he takes chances he shouldn't, but I think his decision-making has been outstanding to this point. He's been incredibly productive."

Germano is only the third player in school history to throw 20 touchdown passes, and he needs just three more to eclipse Braden Anderson's program record of 25 set last season. And Germano is a threat to run with the ball, having rushed for 342 yards and four scores on 77 carries.

That athleticism is what defines Germano, according to Margraff.

"He's such a good athlete," Margraff said. "He returned punts for us last year, and I don't remember if it was his freshman year or last year, but he caught a touchdown as a wide receiver. He's a competitive guy, and he's a guy you would totally trust to go back and catch a punt and do something special. So he's someone you want out on the field. I think he's just become a better quarterback over the last year."

Germano's coach at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, N.J., told Margraff that Germano is special. After witnessing Germano's accomplishments, Margraff is inclined to agree.

"He works hard in practice, but he's even better in games," Margraff said. "He's just a gamer. Some people are like that. He works incredibly hard in practice, but once the pressure's on and a play needs to be made, that's when he's at his best."

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