Vols WR Brandon Johnson media availability transcript

KNOXVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 07, 2020 – Wide receiver Brandon Johnson #7 of the Tennessee Volunteers during 2020 Fall Camp practice on Haslam Field in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Brandon Johnson, R-Sr., WR

On if it’s been hard getting down timing and building chemistry with guys being out of practice…

“I wouldn’t say we’ve had issues doing that. I think we’ve done a great job of filling in where we need to fill in and also with that playing at a high level. I think that everybody in the receiver core, they come to practice every day ready to go. So therefore, let’s say a receiver drops down, there’s no drop off in the level of play. Everybody is playing hard, so that kind of allows us to have the same kind of timing just in case somebody is out for whatever reason.”

 

On the team morale over the past few days with certain players being unable to practice…

“I’d say the team morale has been high. I don’t think it’s really hurt what we have going. We kind of knew what we were getting into during this pandemic and we kind of knew that at certain periods of time different people may be out for X reasons. So, I feel like everybody was ready for it. I think the team morale is high because I just think everybody was ready for things that may happen.”

 

On how the freshmen wide receivers are pushing the older guys and what he’s seen out of QB Jarrett Guarantano…

“As far as the freshmen go, all the freshmen look really good. The future is super bright for all the freshmen. As far as pushing us, they’re pushing us to compete on a high level every day. Also, they’re challenging our leadership because with freshmen comes a certain level of leadership. You have to be able to bring young guys along, show them the ropes, teach them the right way to go about certain things. I really think the future is really bright for all the freshmen that came in.

“As far as Jarrett (Guarantano), he’s become such a great leader amongst the team. He has the respect of everybody on the team and I just can’t wait to see what he does this season.”

 

On what it’s been like for him mentally after not playing for a year and how he thinks he’s a better player…

“As far as sitting out for a year, it wasn’t fun sitting back and watching my teammates go to battle every game last season. But now that I’m in it and now that we’re getting so close to game time, I’m just excited. I can’t wait to go. I think that time off really just helped me take a step back and look at the game from the outside in, so to speak. It really allowed me to kind of get my game in order as far as mentally, really mentally. Working on the physical aspect as well, routes. You can never stop working in the game of football. There’s so much you can do to improve yourself, rather it be mentally or physically, so I’ve just been working all around.”

 

On how he’s seen defensive backs Bryce Thompson and Alontae Taylor grow and what it’s like to go against them every day in practice…

“It’s crazy to see their growth. Those are just really smart players. They’re pointing out different things and you just love to see their growth because right now the way they’re looking, they’re looking like some of the top DBs in the country. It’s been cool to go up against those guys every day and just to watch their improvement up close. It’s been really cool to see.”

 

On if it’s been challenging to keep everyone focused with so many things going on outside of football…

“I wouldn’t say it’s been too challenging just because I feel like everybody came in to camp with the right mindset. I think that goes a long way, so it hasn’t really been too challenging for guys in a leadership role just because I feel like everybody kind of has their head on straight and they know what goal we’re trying to reach.”

 

On how he has had to change his approach now that he’s being looked to for leadership…

“You just really have to be conscious of how you may carry yourself. Like you said, you are being watched at all times, so you have to be conscious of how you carry yourself and what kind of effort you’re giving. You can’t really tell anybody to do anything that you aren’t doing yourself, so that’s one thing. You kind of have to lead by example as well as being a motivator.”

 

On if anything about his game has changed since last season…

“I would say just my confidence level. Confidence level. That’s probably the No. 1 thing. I’m so excited just to get back out there and play man. I can’t wait.”

 

On if that confidence comes from sitting back and watching last season…

“I would say a lot of that comes from sitting back and watching a little bit. You look at things from a different standpoint when you’re not actually in it. Maybe you’ll be sitting back and looking at other guys you may be able to realize, ‘OK, this works. Maybe this works. Different things like that.’ So, I really think sitting back for a little while definitely kind of helped me improve my game.”

 

On his confidence level that Tennessee will be ready to go for the season opener…

“I’m confident we’ll all be ready by the time the game rolls around. Like I said, everybody has the right mindset. It’s kind of like a next man up mindset. People have learned to be adaptable to play different positions – offense, defense – so I’m confident we’ll be more than ready come the 26th.”

 

On if he feels like his decision to redshirt last season will end up being the right one…

“I’m definitely confident it will turn out to be the right decision for me. It wasn’t just a decision for myself, it was a decision for my team. I felt like I’d be better suited to help my team out this year and I don’t regret anything, so I’m pretty excited.”

-UT Athletics

Blogs

Weather

  • Forecast
  • Currents
  • Planner