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Watch Stephen Johnson’s interview on “The Paul Finebaum Show”


A year ago, none of us knew his name, but after Saturday, we’ll never forget it. Stephen Johnson went on “The Paul Finebaum Show” today to discuss Kentucky’s win vs. Louisville, which Paul called the most surprising upset of the weekend. The former backup outplayed Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson in Saturday’s showdown, going 16-27 for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Numbers don’t do justice to Johnson’s performance this season; the JuCo transfer from College of the Desert infected this squad with his cool and calm demeanor, taking what looked like a disastrous season and making it one to remember.

“After that second game, when we got into the locker room, Coach Stoops brought us all up and said it’s really just on us now,” Johnson said of the turning point. “We’ve really got to do this on our own because we’re not going to have the backing of a lot of people. So we’re really going to have to buckle down and try and play as hard as we can. And we really did that. We came together as a team in those next twelve games.”

Johnson opened up about his history with Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations. He said that while it wasn’t easy to grow up with Tourette’s, it helped him become a stronger person and a leader.

“It was really, really hard growing up like that. I was really kind of introverted, kind of shy. Sports really took all of that away. Playing just about everything, really. I found my love and passion in football. With the Tourette’s part, really prayed over it a lot and overcame that with my parents. Just glad how it all came about and how it all ended up to where I’m at today at Kentucky.”

“I’ve really gotten past that. Growing up, it was hard to have that. You’re kind of like the outcast, you’re different in people’s eyes, when you have that disease with you. After not having it anymore, I really stepped out of my shell and opened up to people.”

“The main thing was that it humbled me. It really got me down to where I know that I’m not ‘the man.’ I shouldn’t be the center of attention all the time. It really humbled me to where I know I can lead a team by example and not just be the rah-rah guy all the time.”

I can’t think of a better person to lead by example than Stephen Johnson.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

10 Comments for Watch Stephen Johnson’s interview on “The Paul Finebaum Show”

  1. UK Big Board Update
    6:20 pm November 28, 2016 Permalink

    Somebody check on cats paw, please. He needs more Kleenex for his tears, and ointment for his butt-hurt, I’m sure.

  2. az1006
    6:33 pm November 28, 2016 Permalink

    I’ll be honest…I liked what Stephen Johnson did on the field throughout the year, but I thought he was more of a “manager” than a true leader of a team. But after watching his performance against UofL, and watching how his presence on the field against Austin Peay really seemed to calm our guys down, I’ve come to realize he has been arguably THE key to this team’s turnaround. You get the sense that the players like playing with him. They respect him, and has a way of carrying the team without necessarily making highlight-reel plays all the time (although he’s made his fair share). And when you listen to him talk, it’s easy to see why that’s the case.

    If I’m the head coach of this group, there really is no quarterback competition heading into the spring. Maybe Drew Barker is more skilled in some ways, but there’s so much to be said about being on the field and winning football games. Between the ears, there’s no question he has what it takes. Love Stephen Johnson, and hope to see him on the field as the starter again next year. He’s earned it.

  3. c01nfl1p
    6:58 pm November 28, 2016 Permalink

    There should be no question of Johnson being the starting quarterback next year. Dude is incredibly level headed, and his results on the field more than speak for themselves. I’m really looking forward to another year with him at the helm, as the cool, calm center of our universe.

  4. Kat 308
    8:57 pm November 28, 2016 Permalink

    Not really anything to add. He’s a GOOD quarterback, but a great leader, roll model and person. We are lucky to have him. Coaches talk all the time about winning in life and this kid is a winner.

  5. fireants25
    12:09 am November 29, 2016 Permalink

    That was a nice interview. I think Johnson is great. We have a great young offense.