FAYETTEVILLE — True freshman defensive back Jayden Johnson got extensive action in Arkansas’ 45-10 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday.
Johnson, 6-2, 220, enrolled at Arkansas in January from Cedartown (Ga.). On Saturday he finished with two tackles and had one for a four-yard loss. Sam Pittman talked about Johnson following Saturday’s game.
“I saw him make a couple of tackles,” Pittman said. “I haven’t watched the tape obviously but I saw him make a couple of tackles. He brought it a couple of times. Big ol’ kid you know. He’s from south Georgia, you know. Yes, we’re trying to get him more and more plays. You know (Myles) Slusher came in and made a big hit in there. It’s so nice to have him back. I know you didn’t ask about him. But yes, I think he’s gonna be a really good player in our future and he’s a really good player now. But I think he’s going to get better and better, so yes, we want to get him on the field.”
Johnson also drew praise from Arkansas’ All-America safety Jalen Catalon. The 5-10, 198-pound Catalon even talked about how Johnson has something the redshirt sophomore would love to have.
“I thought he did great,” Catalon said. “I thought he came in and did his job. When he had to stick his nose in there, he stuck his nose in there. I think he’s showing he has the potential to be a really great safety here, and a ballplayer here. I just tell him to just keep striving and keep working. Keep being physical. Like I told him, ‘Dude you’re 6-3 and 220.’ If I was that, man, I would love that for myself. But no, he’s just a beast out there. I tell him, ‘Dude, people are going to be scared of you when you go out there, so don’t be afraid to be physical.’ And I think today he showed that he wasn’t afraid to be physical.”
Johnson was committed to South Carolina before the coaching change there. Played on both sides of the ball, seeing time at quarterback, wide receiver, running back, cornerback and safety for head coach Jamie Abrams at Cedartown High School. As a senior, rushed 48 times for 347 yards (7.2 ypc) and five touchdowns, made 17 receptions for 336 yards (19.8 ypc) and three touchdowns, while also adding 17 tackles, three interceptions, a pass deflection, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.