Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney had hoped Jadar Johnson would make the most of his opportunity as a starter.
With a parade of Tiger defensive backs leaving for the NFL, Johnson talked in the sprng about having a chip on his shoulder after his playing time decreased in 2015. That attitude was noticed by the head coach who raved about Johnson's attitude and work ethic during spring drills.
Johnson obviously carried that over into summer conditioning and the preseason and when the clock hit zeroes Saturday night in Auburn, Johnson had walked off the field satisfied that he had helped contribute to the victory. Johnson started at safety and recorded an interception and had that all important pass break-up on Auburn's Hail Mary at the end of the game.
"it felt great just because I've been working for that moment for a long time," Johnson said.
"I knew i was ready for it. I just wanted to show everybody I was ready. Last year and the year before that, i just had to play my role. I felt like I was good enough to get out there but you can only play two safeties out there at a time. Guys we had last year were great guys and really great players. It feels good to jump into what I say (is) a more important role."