VAUGHT: Johnson excited about Hula Bowl

Receiver Steve Johnson will be playing for the East in the Hula Bowl Saturday in Honolulu and he couldn't be more excited.

"The Hula Bowl is really big. Man, I am nervous about it already. This is another step. This turns into a business now. It is like a job. I am happy because I have an opportunity to take care of my family, Mia, and my wife, Brittney. Who knows what is next? But I am nervous. Everybody is," said Johnson.

He says teammate Keenan Burton helped prepare him for what the NFL scouts might expect during his bowl workouts.

"I am happy to have a guy like Keenan Burton next to me. He knows all that from front to back. He tells me everything I should be aware of, just like out on the field. He tells me what NFL guys like and what they look for. I am just blessed to have been in a position to play along side this guy for two years," Johnson said.

Despite his impressive season — and play in the Music City Bowl — Johnson was surprised to be invited to the game where he will be catching passes from Paul Smith of Tulsa and Ricky Santos of New Hampshire.

"It did surprise me to get the invitation. Coming into the season, I didn't think anything about all-star games. I just wanted to play well for Kentucky," Johnson said. "We had a little bet going on with the guys about who would have the most catches, who would have the most yards, who would have the most touchdowns. That's all I was playing for. I wasn't even thinking about the all-star games or anything like that. It has beena blast playing with these guys, too.

"I didn't know what the heck would go on with the all-star games, but I am happy to be in the Hula Bowl. I get to hang on the beach and have fun. But it is still business and about taking care of my family back home."

After the game, he'll get even more serious about doing all he can to impress NFL scouts and prepare for the upcoming draft.

"I know I am going to watch the draft because I always did. Even when I was younger, I did just for motivation to see who was drafted and hope I would be in that situation one day. I still don't know if I will be drafted. It's crazy to be in these shoes, but I have to keep working and keep playing. The more good things like this that happen, the better my chances are of being drafted," he said.

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