PLANTATION, Fla. — Brandon Johnson arrived back from his senior trip to the Bahamas late Wednesday night with football on his mind.
“I’m just so ready,” said Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound Tennessee signee from American Heritage High School. “In a way it hasn’t hit me that I’ll be leaving here soon, but in another way I’ve been ready for more football for a while.”
Johnson, whose 35-inch vertical jump, 80-inch wingspan and quick feet make him a natural at receiver, was part of American Heritage’s Class 5A state championship teams his sophomore and junior seasons.
“Last season, though … it was a frustrating season,” Johnson said, referring to American Heritage getting eliminated in the second round of the state playoffs. “It wasn’t the senior year I had envisioned.”
Johnson committed to Tennessee on Sept. 2, ultimately choosing the Vols over LSU and Georgia, and he knew Big Orange fans were keeping tabs on him and probably wondering why his statistics weren’t as impressive as his sophomore and junior seasons.
The relative lack of success presented a challenge for Johnson, who would see his nickname of “Smooth” put to the test.
“I mean, I know what kind of player I am and what I can do,’’ Johnson said. “But still, it was frustrating for me. I had to have patience, and I had to learn to just keep coming back every week and keep grinding.
“In the back of my mind, I was thinking about Tennessee, just knowing how much I have to look forward to.”
Suddenly, it’s almost here: Johnson will report to campus on Sunday.
On Wednesday night, the talented receiver sat down with SEC Country to talk about his high school career, his family, and his future with coach Butch Jones and the Vols.
Part of the interview is shown in the video above, and his highlights below speak for themselves.