Jordan Johnson is both loved and appreciated by his Cougar teammates. Coach Howell mentioned last week how the secondary has rallied around Johnson following his season-ending knee injury last week.
"Everything else was in tact," Johnson said. "It was just an ACL."
If there’s ever good news with this sort of injury, that would be it, as it's good to know there was no other damage to Johnson's knee. He knows he has a full year to rehab.
"Being that I lost this year, I'm going to take this entire year and rehab and get my leg just as strong if not better than it was last year," said Johnson. "I think it will be like nine or 10 months and the fastest would be six or seven, but I'm in no rush. So, I'll take all the time needed and get back up."
The field corner position has seen its share of knee injuries this year. On the first day of spring camp, Trenton Trammell went down with an ACL injury. Trammell and Johnson are roommates.
"That's my guy right there," said Johnson about Trammell as a small smile cracked in the corner of his mouth. "He's been helping me out, helping me up the stairs. He's always at the house looking out for me and whatnot. It went hand in hand because when he was going through his trial and tribulations with his knee, you know, I was there for him, so it's been cool and I look at it as we're both going to come back stronger than ever."
Most of Johnson’s time has been spent in the training room, but he has made it know that if newer members of the secondary need his help, he'll be there for them no matter what.
"They haven't really solidified a role for me," Johnson said. "I've kind of been living in the training room, so while they’re out on the field at practice or [watching] film, I'm getting rehab on my knee. That's what's been keeping me going, but as far as helping out and whatnot, they know I'm here, and hopefully they'll tell me within these next two weeks because we've got a game coming up.
"If they need me to help them, I'll help them. If guys need me to help them with film, I'm there for them."
In the meantime the field cornerback position is still a work in progress, especially with Dallin Leavitt and Sam Lee dealing with injuries of their own.
"We're going to be fine. We're going to be fine," said Johnson. "We've got Rob [Daniel], Dallin, and Mike Davis converted from receiver, and he caught my eye. It's just part of the game and everybody gets hurt. It's unfortunate but somebody will come in and fill in for me."
During Monday morning’s practice, Davis jumped a route and picked off a pass from starting quarterback Taysom Hill and returned it for a score.
Regarding Davis and his adjustment to playing defense, Johnson said that “no one is going to run past that man. He's going to run stride for stride with any and everybody. It's just picking up the physicality and he'll be good for us."
Davis still has a ways to go in regards to position mastery, but he has all the tools to be a very good field corner.
“I watched him and he's got a good backpedal and he breaks on everything and nobody runs past him,” said Johnson. “He looked really good to me. He looked really good to me."