Christian Johnson readies for his final rodeo

Chistian Johnson was forced to sit out last season; supposedly it was because he had bad back issues and academic issues. Some feel that if the academics were in order the back would not have caused him to miss the entire season. We asked him how agonizing it was to have sat out the season and whether it was a wake-up call?

"Last year was real tough," Christian Johnson said. "My team is really my family away from home. I feel like I let down my coaches, my teammates and my family." He said he is excited to go into camp but to be honest he said he is real nervous. "I want to do real good and I feel like I have a lot to prove and a lot to make up. So there's a lot on the table at this point in my career in football, not to mention this is my last year so I have to have a good season."

Johnson's work ethic has been called into question in the past. Johnson said back in the spring he has to have a real big summer. to accomplish what he wanted. "I had a real good summer – I didn't miss a workout throughout four-week and eight week summer school. Coaches were always talking about how I was working hard. This is the first summer I didn't get any negative feedback." He said he is down from 352-pounds to 328 or 330- pounds.

He and his brother Micah had drawn a lot of attention since they've been at Kentucky and now they're going out together.

Johnson said, "It feels good. I think I'm blessed. Some people could look at it as a bad thing. I'm really supposed to have been out of here a year ago and I went to military school so realistically I'm two-years older than Micah. So I had a few setbacks that have put me back further than I was supposed to be. But again I think I really needed those two years to mature. I was not ready to come to college straight out of high school. Military school helped me a lot. Last year I wasn't ready to be a senior and to be a leader. Last year with me having to set out help me to mature and to see a lot of things differently."

Did he think they were being harder on him and his brother because they were expecting so much out of them? The setting is 2007, the location is Nutter Field House, the logistics is the opposite end from the main exit, and the scene is Joker Phillips, Garry Willims and Christian Johnson. Coach Joker Phillip let loose with a volley of screaming expletives directed at the two of them, unlike anything I had ever seen from Phillips in this writer's then 26-year association with the coach.

"Just growing up I learned that they are just doing their job and when the coaches expect something out of somebody and they are not reaching their certain potential, they are going to be hard on them to bring it out and I still was being rebellious and it didn't come out until I had to set out. Now I've got nothing but love for the coaches and everything that they do even if they get on my butt and I'm expecting them to get on my butt the summer in fall camp and I'm going to ride with it. The pressure is something I'm willing to take and it's something that I hope will drive me to keep working hard throughout the whole year."

Johnson said his dad is the best dad in the world. With a little chuckle, he said if you knew his dad, he said his dad was hard on them growing up and something he didn't understand but after having grown up he wouldn't have wanted anything to change.

"It's made me the person I am today and it's made me respectful of authority. It didn't change when I went to college. I thought they would kind of let me do my own thing but when the coaches or the people from C.A.T. S. call my dad and my mom, too, I would hear it from them. But it was all out of love, so it's all good."

AllWildcats Top Stories