VAUGHT: Less attention suits Johnson

Micah Johson has played better and got less attention this season. It's a combination that suits the Kentucky sophomore middle linebacker just fine.

"It has been nice not having all the scrutiny this year. It seems like last year when I was adjusting and learning everything, everybody was coming down hard on me. Now I am just learning and continuing to get better. It has all been good so far. I am getting more playing time and making more plays. It's a good feeling."

Especially since so many had started to doubt if he could play middle linebacker. At times last year, he was tentative and seemed a step slow. Now he's lost weight to help his speed and his instincts are showing more because he has a better understanding of what he's supposed to do.

"I think I have answered that. I am getting to the ball. I played against Kent State with a hurt shoulder and only had 34 snaps of defense, but I had eight tackles. I am still going out and getting to the ball . That is what I have to do if I want to help us keep winning.

"I know what I am doing this year. Coach (Chuck) Smith is telling me I am continuing to get better and now I just have to get consistent with that."

Johnson came to UK as one of the nation's most highly sought recruits. Fans expected instant success from him, and he expected the same from himself. However, he know admits it was harder to make an impact at Kentucky than he thought it would be.

"It was harder. I think that is what really got me off guard. It was more difficult than I thought it would be here," Johnson said. "I do put pressure on myself. I just want to be great in whatever I do. Football is a big part of my life. So I want to be great at it and become that special player that I am supposed to be. I'm not there yet, but at least I think now I am getting there and that is a lot better feeling than last year."

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