LACETT | Backup QB Johnson overcomes setbacks, lands at UK
Johnson’s journey to Lexington and major Division I football hasn’t been easy.
LEXINGTON, KY. (WDRB) –There are days when Stephen Johnson still can’t believe he is a member of the Kentucky Wildcats.
“It’s truly incredible, all this stuff,” said Johnson. “To have made it this far, I’m thankful for this journey.”
Johnson’s journey to Lexington and major Division I football hasn’t been easy. At a young age he suffered from Tourette Syndrome. He says football gave him the confidence to step out of his shell.
“I would have a really fast blink,” said Johnson. “The only time I didn’t see it happening was on the field.”
Coming out of high school, Johnson wound up at Grambling State. But an injury in his redshirt freshman season led him to leave the school. Hoping to get noticed, he went the JUCO route and signed to play for the College of the Desert, a community college just outside Palm Springs, California.
“A few times, I doubted if I made the right decision,” said Johnson. “The first games of the year it didn’t look good for me but everything turned out alright.”
It was at College of the Desert where Johnson actually attracted the attention of Kentucky Co-Offensive Coordinator Darrin Hinshaw, who was looking for an experienced quarterback to join the team.
“We did not need to sign another true freshman. We needed to sign someone with experience, the guy who stood out was Stephen Johnson.”
As far as playing behind Drew Barker, Johnson says he’s happy to do whatever is needed. But make no mistake, this 6-2 183 pound junior wants to play and he wants to make an impact
“This team deserves as many wins as it can get. We are destined for greatness here,” said Johnson.
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