Countdown to Kickoff: #65 Cedric Johnson

As we continue our <i>Countdown to Kickoff</i> series, we take a closer look at starting left guard Cedric Johnson, and his role in the Clemson offense headed into the 2004 season.

OL Cedric Johnson
6-4, 325
Thomas County Central
Barwick, GA

Quick Bio
Cedric Johnson bench-pressed over 400 pounds as a senior at Thomas County Central High School. He can play tackle and guard and has also worked at center during his career. At Clemson, he's become one of the Tigers' top linemen, and will be instrumental in the overall success of the offense in 2004.
The Scoop
Johnson is the strongest player on the Clemson team with a 530-pound bench press, an all-time Clemson record. He comes into his senior season as the starting left guard, and is generally considered one of the most consistent offensive linemen on the team.

Key Points
  • Johnson is currently ahead of Brandon Pilgrim on the two-deep depth chart, and he should have that position locked down throughout the 2004 season. Johnson ended spring practice at close to 330 pounds, but offensive line coach Brad Scott has suggested that he must lose 15-20 more pounds to be at his best.

  • Big Cedric played in 11 of 12 games in 2001 even though he was hampered most of the year with a nagging knee injury. In 2002 he played in 836 snaps in 2002 and graded out 87 percent on average for the season.

  • After arriving on campus as a freshman at an estimated 360 pounds, Johnson realized that he had his work cut out for him if he was ever going to play a starting spot. "I came to campus thinking that I could just do whatever and I'd be able to play, but Coach West changed that real quick," Johnson said.

  • The interior of the Tigers' offensive line should be a strength of the team this fall. Johnson and starting center Tommy Sharpe are both seniors, and Nathan Bennett and Chip Myrick continue to be a solid one-two punch at right guard. "We're much more experienced in the guard position with older players," noted coach Scott.

    Surprisingly, Cedric Johnson emerged as one of the Tigers' top offensive linemen in 2003. He kept his weight down, and was widely viewed as Clemson's most consistent player up front. In 2004, expectations have risen even higher for the Georgia native. As a senior, Johnson along with Tommy Sharpe, will be looked to provide leadership both on and off the field.

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