Heading into the 2014 season Cory Johnson was just going about his business preparing for his first season as a D-lineman at the University of Kentucky. After two good seasons of junior college ball at ASA College in Brooklyn, NY the challenge of transitioning to SEC football was the next phase in Johnson’s football career.
The first team practice was progressing without anything particularly unusual occurring.
Then WLEX’s Alan Cutler and CJ got to talking about his weight.
Naturally, the poop quote stuck and the comedy and the video quickly made the rounds. Jimmy Kimmel even referenced them on his show.
Johnson went on to appear in six games in 2014 where he recorded 10 tackles.
Fast forward to 2015. CJ was back and had a year of SEC ball under his belt and it was evident.
The results have spoken for themselves.
After serving a one-game suspension in the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette CJ has put together a very nice season.
In his first game this season, back in his hometown of Columbia, SC against the Gamecocks, he assisted on one tackle. Since then he’s gone on a tear as he notched six stops against Florida in the following game.
Twice he has exceeded his entire 2014 tackle output (10) in a single game. He recorded 11 tackles against Missouri and nearly doubled that with 19 against Eastern Kentucky where he was one of the players who showed up for the full 60 minutes. He was awarded SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts against the Colonels.
These are strong numbers from the defensive line position. Heading into the season finale against Louisville he has topped five tackles in six of the 10 games he has played in this season.
But Johnson’s game is more than just plugging gaps and making tackles. He’s also about making plays.
The scoop and score gave Kentucky the first of the two short leads it would hold over the Volunteers.
As good as that was, the big fella wasn’t done.
There are defensive backs that have to be envious of this play. He creates his own tip drill, pirouettes, locates the ball, shows off the hands to make the catch all while having the wherewithal to get a foot down to complete the play.
Now CJ’s UK career comes down to one game, a win or go home tilt against the Cards for the second straight season. Perhaps he has a couple more big plays up his sleeve.