1. Stephen Still Loves this Sh*t
Johnson entered Kentucky folklore for out-dueling Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson. His legendary performance began before he even took a snap. Today Johnson confirmed exactly what we thought he said — “I love this sh*t” — and explained why.
“After they scored, that place erupted. It was just so loud, I could barely hear what are coaches were telling us the play was, even though I knew what it was. Going out there, having the atmosphere like that and seeing the defense that they were in, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s on. They’re about to shut up reeeeally, really fast.'”
And shut up they did.
Remember when Stephen Johnson saw UL’s defense & said “I love this shit” to himself, then threw a 75 yard TD? pic.twitter.com/oGdm0MAp2F
– Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) December 1, 2016
Johnson confirmed that he did see Lamar do the Heisman pose and he did see Lamar fumble.
2. Johnson Loved the Two-Point Conversion Call
After running in the final touchdown at the Music City Bowl with about 30 seconds left to play, Stephen Johnson was happy the Cats decided to go for two. It wasn’t just because he had two bad shoulders and a bum knee.
“I loved the call. Just having the momentum, going and scoring the last touchdown of the game, knowing it would be in our hands. We kinda worked that play out the whole week. It was good defense on the release of our receiver to where we couldn’t get the natural pick. It was just me kinda trying to throw the ball up at that point and it didn’t fall our way.”
After the ball fell to the ground, many fans wished Johnson had the opportunity to roll out and run into the end zone. Even though it worked for the touchdown, Johnson does not regret the coaches’ decision-making.
“I really liked the way how it all unfolded at the end right there,” Johnson said. “We had great playcalling. I don’t play for Kentucky anymore so I can really say what I want to. It’s the truth. We had great playcalling, that two-point play just didn’t fall our way.”
3. Chester was Right
After the Southern Miss game, Chester called into KSR to share a grievance: he believed Johnson’s helmet didn’t fit properly onto his head. After a lengthy investigation, Mrs. Tyler Thompson could find no hard evidence of Chester’s claim, only a GIF.
It turns out that Chester was correct. When UK heard Chester’s call, the equipment managers called Johnson into their office to assess the situation. His large hairdo was in fact too much for his helmet. To fix the problem, the managers removed some of the padding at the top so the helmet could fit tighter around his head.
Lesson learned — never doubt Chester.
4. Football wasn’t Stephen’s Best Sport
It was actually baseball. A shortstop and a pitcher in Little League, Johnson said it was best sport, but it was too boring for his taste. As a kid he dabbled in just about every sport except rugby and water polo. That’s not an exaggeration. “I was the only black kid in Southern California playing ice hockey.”
5. What Happened in the Locker Room vs. Tennessee
Arguably the best moment of the 2017 season happened on the sideline. With the Border rivalry game hanging in the balance, Johnson was forced to the locker room with a shoulder injury.
“I was just sitting there, waiting to get my numbing shot for my shoulder and they told me we had a fumble during our last drive. So I just said, ‘Put it in anywhere. Let me run out there.’ As soon as the shot was lifted out of my shoulder, I grabbed my helmet and ran straight out of the locker room.”
Johnson did not expect to hear the crowd erupt in applause. “It was insane…That gave me a boost.” Not long after his dramatic return, he ripped out the hearts of the Vols with this amazing, game-winning score.
In the hour-long interview, Stephen shared a ton of funny, insightful stories, like which lineman talks the most trash. Johnson also apologized to Freddie Maggard for kicking him out of the Media Guide by surpassing him in the all-time passing ranks. It’s an interview you can’t miss.