"I watched the film from Saturday, and when I was out on the field I thought I did a lot better than I did," said freshman Dorian Johnson on his first start at left tackle against Georgia Tech. "I was kind of disappointed when I watched the film, but it also wasn't too bad for my first start."
Before Georgia Tech, Johnson saw some playing time, spotting in for Adam Bisnowaty periodically. He never imagined that he would be getting his first start as early as his freshman year, let alone against the Yellow Jackets. In fact, Johnson is the first true freshman to start on the offensive line since 2006, when Joe Thomas started at right guard against Syracuse.
The starting job gave Johnson a chance to play a full game rather than just stepping in for a few plays. Before Saturday, Johnson had the opportunity to step in and play spot duty every game except against Florida State. But the playing time was never quite enough for Johnson to get fully comfortable at the tackle position.
"The start was so much different than the playing time I've been getting," said Johnson. "It was a good experience and I think it will be good for me heading into next year."
While Johnson doesn't seem too confident in getting another call from Chryst to start, the chance to play a full game as a freshman is an experience he's happy to walk away with.
Chryst announced this morning that Adam Bisnowaty is back and ready to play, meaning Johnson will most likely head back to the bench and continue his spot duty. Chryst wouldn't reveal his starter at tackle, but said both Bisnowaty and Johnson are ready to play on Saturday against Notre Dame.
Although, Johnson didn't sound too pleased with his first career start on the line, coach Jim Hueber was certainly impressed with his play as a freshman getting a start.
"Johnson did some good stuff in the game," said Hueber. "He's probably glad he got his first start because it's a lot more snaps, roughly more than half a dozen. He's probably glad to get the first game jitters out of the way, but we let him know he did some good stuff in that game.
Johnson agreed with Hueber that it's good to get his first start out of the way, especially when he's not certain of when his name could be called again.