• Joey Jarzynka

Rams LB Clay Johnston Quotes 4/25/20

COURTESY OF LOS ANGELES RAMS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT


(On if he is excited about being drafted)


“Ah, come on bro, yeah. I’m hyperventilating. I wanted to get under the squat rack, wanted to get some pads on. I’m freaking stoked.”


(On if he lived in Southern California when his dad, Kent Johnston, was the strength and conditioning coach for the San Diego Chargers)


“I did not. I went out there though when he was with the Chargers and I trained with the team at the time. I would go with the rookies and summers and train while I was in high school. But, I visited him from time to time. I lived in Texas during that time, though.”


(On if he is familiar with Southern California, specifically Los Angeles)


“A little bit, a little bit, but good gosh, it’s going to be home, hopefully for a while. Lord, willing. Let’s go man, I’m freaking, gosh dang it bro, I’m freaking pumped.”


(On his relationship with former Rams S Eric Weddle and on Weddle fully endorsing him to make an impact on the team)


“Well, he was with the Chargers when my dad was there and so, when I would go there, we’d wake up in the morning and we’d do some defensive back drills together. He’d always say, ‘You’re going to be the young little prodigy of Eric Weddle.’ So, he’d just joke around about that. It was such a blessing being able to train with him. Such a great guy, freaking love him, he works his tail off.”


(On what his strengths are as an inside linebacker and where he thinks he needs to improve heading into the NFL)


“Okay, I think my strengths are definitely being smart, learning the playbook and knowing the X’s and O’s and schematics of each defensive scheme. I think I’m pretty physical in the box and I can use my hands well. I think you can always get better at that though until the day you die as a linebacker. I think things to get better at definitely are continuing to get better at using your hands, probably not diving in certain situations. A lot of times I dive just to try to make a big hit or something, when I should just be safe and secure the tackle, but that’ll come in time with more practice. Thank the Lord to the Rams, let’s freaking go.”


(On how his knee is progressing)


“It’s great. It feels great. I’m running max speed. I’m cutting at about 90-95 percent speed, being smart about it. I don’t want to risk anything, especially with these rumors of no offseason, stuff like this, I mean it will just give me more time to heal. So, it’s honestly a better scenario for me. I have my dad here right now. He’s with the (Carolina) Panthers. (Panthers Head) Coach (Matt) Rhule let him stay here for the weekend. He was helping me a lot with the rehab. We’d go work out every day, train, do some ply works, stuff like that. So, it’s doing a lot better and it’s only going to continue to get better, Lord willing.”


(On what the last few months were like for him with his injury and what his mentality has been like)


“It sucked, honestly. I hated every second of it. Becoming injured, especially with this year we had, I thought we had the chance to win the Big 12 Championship and we did and we knew that going in with our whole class. It’s definitely been a test and it’s just a different process. I just have so many people around me praying for me, helping me out regarding the injury, including my dad and (international track coach) and Dan Pfaff, all these guys helping the rehab process. It hurt watching the team, but I just can’t express how thankful I am. All you can ask is for an opportunity, so the fact the Rams are giving me an opportunity, I can’t express enough gratitude for that. I’m going to give it everything I have.”


(On a tweet saying that General Manager Les Snead was ready to run through a brick wall after talking to him on the phone and more about how that phone call went)


“I don’t know, I still got to get the names down. When I got a call and they said, ‘Do you want to be a Ram?’ I said, ‘By God, I want to be a Ram, let’s freaking go.’ I screamed and everyone was screaming, going nuts in here. Instantly put some pads on, ran through our front door, broke the windshield, it was awesome.”


(On if it was true that he ran through the door and broke a windshield in his excitement after being drafted by the Rams)


“No, not at all. Totally fictional, I just had to say that (laughs). The way I feel right now, I don’t blame you for asking that because I’m about to run through the door right in front of me right now.”


(On how well he knows the Rams coaches and how much he met with them during the pre-draft process)


“I met with the linebacker coach, (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers) Coach (Joe) Barry and knew him really well, very good man, honorable man. Thankful he’s willing to want to coach me again. Again, Coach McVay, I’m just extremely thankful and Joe Barry. Oh man, I’m so pumped, man. God, I’m so thankful. My dad knows Joe Barry way back. My dad’s been in the coaching world for a long time. I think he knows him like most of them. Wow, let’s go!”


(On the last time he was this excited about something)


“I’ve never been this excited in my life. This is the most excited I’ve ever been.”

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