Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Elite defensive tackle didn't stay unknown for long


  by - Staff Writer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:56 PM
    |

Johnson had 80 tackles and seven sacks last season

College football coaches try to keep quiet about relatively unknown prospects, but unfortunately for Clemson that didn’t work with Sterling Johnson.

The Tigers offered the Clayton (NC) Cleveland defensive tackle in late November, and since then he has picked up offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida St., North Carolina, Ohio St., South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech, among others.

Johnson told TigerNet Monday night that getting the first offer from Clemson really came as sort of a surprise, but since then the recruiting process has become a bit overwhelming.

“It was crazy. I didn't expect it considering that Clemson was my first offer,” Johnson told TigerNet. “It felt real good. It's been kind of overwhelming, but at the same time it's a blessing considering that I'm an inspiration to a lot of people a lot of people would kill to be in a position that I'm in, to be able to choose what school you want to go to, do something you love and get a great education while you're at it.”

Area recruiters Dan BrooksDan Brooks
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
View Full Profile
and Mike ReedMike Reed
Defensive Backs Coach
View Full Profile
are already building a relationship with Johnson.

“My relationship with Coach Brooks is pretty solid,” Johnson said. “They are both really good guys. I feel like that if I was to commit there, that they would take me with open arms as one of their own.”

However, it was a trip to Clemson for Junior Day in early February that made Johnson realize what was so special about Clemson.

“One thing that really popped out at me was the family-type environment,” he said. “Everybody is constantly raving about Clemson and I finally was able to experience that when we went down there to visit.”

Johnson said that the family atmosphere at Clemson really begins with the Tigers' head coach.

“I talked to Coach Swinney and it kind of came back to the family environment,” he said. “He has a great spirituality and when everybody came together, that's when the football team started winning games.”

Johnson grew up a fan of both Clemson and North Carolina; however, he doesn’t claim any favorites.

“I don't have top-three or a top-five, but if I was to then I know that Clemson would be in there, definitely,” he said

After being named Cleveland’s defensive Most Valuable Player and racking up 80 tackles and seven sacks, it’s easy for some to see the comparison to NFL great Julius Peppers.

“A lot of people say that I’m a lot like Julius Peppers even though I play inside,” he said. “I guess my body frame kind or reminds people of him and I can see that. He was a little bit more cut than I am at this point, but we've got the same long arms, broad chests, and thicker lower body. I can see what they're talking about.”


Rate this Story:
27 votes
Send Feedback to Nikki Steele: Email | Comment
    |
  •  
    Thoughts from the WestZone: A perfect day, defense and who would you hire? - 2 days ago
    Saturday is supposed to be one of those perfect, sun splashed afternoons that are perfect for tailgating. The evening hours are forecast to be crisp and clear, the perfect conditions for a Clemson football game in Death Valley. What should Syracuse expect? What other nuggets came out of the WestZone this week? Full Story »
  •  
    Jadar Johnson turning heads in the "No Fly Zone" - 2 months ago
    Sophomore safety Jadar Johnson earned praise from head coach Dabo Swinney during spring practice, and he has continued to impress during the fall. What is the difference in his game? What does he say about the competition with Jayron Kearse? Full Story »
  •  
    Department of the Interior: Defensive tackles lead the way - 3 months ago
    Clemson's defensive ends get all the love when it comes to talk of the Tiger defense, but a solid group of defensive tackles can't be overlooked, according to line coach Dan Brooks. What does he say about freshman Scott Pagano? Who had good a spring? Full Story »
  •  
    Mike Reed: "We are going to be the old Clemson we used to be" - 3 months ago
    Secondary coach Mike Reed says that he understands that people doubt his group, but he thinks that he and his young players will accept the challenge and that Clemson fans will see the kind of defense that they deserve to see. In part two of our "No Fly Zone" conversation with Reed, he talks about the challenges, and what other players he expects to see step up. Full Story »
  •  
    No Fly Zone - 3 months ago
    The Clemson secondary has a slogan for this season, one that defensive backs coach Mike Reed hopes will help make the game fun for a talented but young group of defenders. Where did he get the phrase? What does he say about Jayron Kearse and Mackensie Alexander? Full Story »

Post your comments

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest