Former Tennessee Vols running backs coach David Johnson, who left Knoxville last month for Florida State, created a stir over the weekend by speaking about a “lack of trust” in what was going on at UT.
— zach ragan (@zachTNT) February 8, 2020
The comments caused some outrage on social media. In response, Johnson joined The Swain Event on Monday morning to explain his side of the story.
— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) February 10, 2020
Johnson made it clear that he had no issues with Jeremy Pruitt or Tennessee. He even addressed his move from wide receivers coach in 2018 to running backs in 2019 (which some folks speculated was the fuel behind his comments).
The New Orleans native told Jayson Swain that he didn’t hesitate to move to running backs, mentioning that bringing Tee Martin on staff to coach wide receivers, someone he called a Vol for life, was important for Tennessee’s future recruiting success.
As for the “trust” comments, Johnson had trouble explaining exactly what those comments meant, saying multiple times “It’s the process I was in at the time”.
I think this all boils down to Johnson trying to fire up a crowd at Florida State. Johnson understands that it didn’t sound right (something Johnson said his wife said as well), but his apology makes it clear he wasn’t trying to take a shot at UT.
It’s obvious from Johnson’s decision to go on a radio show in Knoxville to explain his comments that Tennessee is important to him. It’s also clear he has a lot of respect for Pruitt and the staff, with Johnson saying “I wouldn’t be in this position without Coach Pruitt”.
The comments from Johnson were ill-advised, but they probably didn’t mean what everyone thought they meant. It happens.
I think it’s safe to say that this mini-controversy has been squashed.
Featured image via 247Sports