Clemson safety Jadar Johnson earned first-team All-ACC honors after a fantastic regular season. But as impressive as he’s been on the field, his ability to produce bulletin board material off of it may be his true calling.
You’ll recall Johnson pretended not to know who Lamar Jackson was in advance of the Tigers’ game against Louisville. This was before he promised to “body slam” the eventual Heisman Trophy winner.
Today, Johnson put Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in his slighting sights.
“He’s pretty good,” Johnson said. “We’ve definitely faced better quarterbacks than him. I feel like if we can limit him on the ground, with his running, we’ll be pretty good. I don’t think he’s a very accurate passer. I’m not taking anything away from him. I think he’s a real good player but I feel like his strong point is just on his legs.”
Some of what Johnson says is true. Clemson faced the best quarterback in the county in Jackson. Barrett wasn’t very accurate — especially in the Buckeyes victory over Michigan.
The real question, though, is: why say it at all?
Jackson put up 457 yards of offense against Clemson and nearly upset the Tigers in Death Valley, so it’s not as if Johnson’s trash-talk had much influence. And it’s not like it’s going to rattle Barrett in advance of the national semifinal.
The only thing it’s sure to do will provide extra motivation for his opponent and more press clippings on Urban Meyer’s easel.