Tristan Johnson talks loss to USC and upcoming game with Mississippi State.
A good story of perseverance ... Saw limited action his first three seasons and had to overcome an injury ... Finally began getting playing time last season and made the most of it ... Started the last nine games last season and hopes to retain that role this season ... Powerful, tough competitor who plays with great intensity ... Has played in 21 games, starting nine.
2012 (Junior): Strong play in practice led to playing time in games ... When Mister Cobble was sidelined by an illness, Johnson grabbed the starting role and never let it go, opening the final nine games of the season ... Finished with 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks ... Credited with five quarterback hurries and broke up two passes ... Had a career-high six tackles vs. South Carolina, including a half-sack ... Five tackles vs. Mississippi State, with one sack ... Picked up a fumble vs. Samford and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
2011 (Sophomore): Sidelind by a shoulder injury for much of the season but managed to play in two games ... Made one tackle against Florida.
2010 (Redshirt Freshman): Gave UK depth at the defensive end position, playing in seven games ... Recorded a pass breakup against Akron.
2009 (Freshman): Redshirted ... Defensive Scout Team Player of the Week leading up to the upset of Auburn. High School: Two-year member of the all-area team ... Racked up 97 tackles as a senior, an impressive total for a defensive end ... Added 11 tackles for loss, six quarterback sacks, one caused fumble, and three fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown ... Notched 79 tackles, including 10 for loss, as a junior ... Ranked as the nation's No. 57 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com ... Has run the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, an excellent time for a defensive end, and also is noted for his quickness ... Senior season featured an 11-3 record, with LaGrange advancing to the semifinals of the state playoffs ... Joined the recent list of LaGrange players at Kentucky that includes former All-Southeastern Conference linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Braxton Kelley, former wide receiver DeMoreo Ford and former cornerback Randall Burden ... Coached by Steve Pardue ... "Tristian is a really explosive player, reminds me of Braxton Kelley," Pardue said ... A baseball outfielder who was named all-county and all-region his senior year ... Team advanced to the state playoffs his senior season ... Also a member of the school's wrestling team, with a best finish of second place in the region his sophomore year.
Personal: Born in Albany, Ga. ... Son of Henry Johnson and Renita Johnson ... Name is pronounced "TRIS-tan" ... Major is community communication and leadership development.
Community Cats: Participated in the Christian Appalachian Project for Pike County (2010), Big Blue U Move-In (2011) and God's Pantry (2012).
Tristian Says ... My ideal vacation spot is: LaGrange, Ga. ... What non-football sporting event would you like to attend? game seven of the World Series ... The coolest thing about UK is: getting to wear blue, which I have since seventh grade ... The one thing I like most about football is: being able to play; you don't know when it may end ... My hiddden talent is: I can rap.