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Tyreke Johnson goes viral
Tyreke Johnson prides himself on being a physical cornerback who can bully receivers with his size and aggressiveness.
He put those traits on display last weekend during the NFA7v7 tournament at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The 5-star recruit from Jacksonville went viral last Saturday after he tweeted a video of himself slamming a receiver to the ground.
“He just made it personal,” Johnson explained. “He just kept trash-talking. I’m not normally a guy that just wants to slam someone, but he brought it out of me by his actions and what he was saying out his mouth.”
Johnson and the receiver had been chattering back-and-forth prior to the hit. At one point Johnson yelled, “I don’t play with kids!” His caption for the video shared those same sentiments.
If i want to play with kids ill have my own 😤😤😠 pic.twitter.com/lSbz5eN0wU
— tyreke johnson (@Im_showtime_) June 17, 2017
“I didn’t know his body was that flimsy,” Johnson joked. “I baptized him. I’ve done that before to plenty of different guys. This one just happened to be caught on camera by my man.”
Johnson is already a household name in the Class of 2018 as the nation’s No. 2-ranked safety in the 247Sports Composite. The video boosted his profile even more with over 14,000 retweets and 25,000 likes.
The U.S. Army All-American adamantly views himself as a cornerback and believes that physicality sets his game apart from other players.
“There aren’t many physical corners out here,” Johnson said. “A lot of guys just want to play finesse football, but it’s not. We gotta get back to the roots of the game.
“The people who liked my video told me that’s how football should be played. Of course there were some haters, too. But I think I showed people I’m a playmaker.”
Clowned by Cam Newton
Johnson’s video the rounds on social media last weekend and even caught the attention of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, whose 7-on-7 team was competing in the NFA7v7 tournament.
The following day, Johnson faced Newton’s team and the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner acknowledged the viral video by daring the 5-star defensive back to get aggressive with his receivers.
“Cam was like, ‘You’re not going to do my players like that.’ I wasn’t fazed,” Johnson said. “I told him, ‘I treat a duck like a duck. Any of your receivers ducks? If so, then that’s what I’ll do.’ Straight like that.”
Newton jumped all over Johnson after he gave up a touchdown in their game, poking fun at him from the sideline with a dig at his 5-star rating.
Cam Newton clowning 5-star DB Tyreke Johnson for giving up a TD. "That couldn't have been on him! He got enough stars to fill a galaxy!" pic.twitter.com/JIXmRihDvz
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) June 18, 2017
That wasn’t the first exchange between Johnson and Newton at IMG Academy. They had some banter during last year’s tournament, coming off Netwon’s MVP season in 2015.
“I remember telling Cam, ‘You’re good and all, but when I hit the NFL I’m taking your MVP trophy,’ ” Johnson said. “He was like, ‘Ha. Real funny. You gotta pry it out my hand.’ I like to trash talk, but I was dead serious.”
Despite their 7-on-7 rivalry, Johnson and Newton are fine away from the field and share a mutual friend.
“Cam and my mentor, Drayton Florence, they played on the same NFL team (in 2013),” Johnson said. “So we met through him and I’ve known Cam for a little minute now.”
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