The small crowd gathered along the fence at Bluegrass Field as the players left the plane. The crowd was there to show their support and appreciation for the team’s win at Missouri.
The players made their way to the fence to thank the fans for coming. There was no player more appreciative than Stephen Johnson. He took the time to stop and thank each person individually.
His eyes told the story…
The 2016 Kentucky Football Team was to be Drew Barker’s team. After all, Drew was a heralded Kentucky high school quarterback who chose to stay in his home state and play for the Cats. The plans were laid. Then the unexpected happened…a season ending injury.
The reins of the offense of the Kentucky team were handed over to Stephen Johnson, a skinny guy from Grambling/College of the Desert. The unknown junior college transfer became QB1 and all he did was win.
He made the journey from California for his opportunity to play Division 1 football. He left friends and family behind to pursue his dream.
He more than answered the call to lead. He took hit after hit, held his head up high to fans criticism and never faltered on the field. He sometimes seemed awkward and his frail body spent many a time taking hits. Yet, at the end of the season, all he did was win.
He was told he needed to gain weight during the off season. He is now twenty pounds heavier and visibly stronger than last season.
He struggled with the short passes last season. CJ Conrad would surely agree that is no longer an issue.
It is understandable that if a player loses his position to injury he/she should have a chance to regain their staring position. However, a plan to insert said player into a game no matter the score or the circumstances make no sense.
Fans wanted Barker. There is no doubt the coaches wanted to see what he could do. This occurred on the third offensive series yesterday. Questions should now be answered. Johnson is your QB because all he does is win.
The offensive line is in shambles. Players rotate positions during the game as the coaching staff struggles to find the “right fit.” The loss of Toth to graduation and Mosier to injury is evident in each offensive play. Johnson is forced to scramble for yards, take snaps from different centers and make decisions with defenses in his face, yet he never falters. All he does is win.
It’s time to put any quarterback controversy aside and let Johnson lead this team. He does whatever it takes to get the win.
You can see it in his eyes.