by Austin Silvey @SilveyESP
CLEMSON, SC -- "Denzel is a starter for us," Dabo Swinney stated in his availability with the media on Thursday afternoon.
Denzel Johnson came out of AC Flora High School in Columbia, SC as a three-star recruit, according to 247sports composite rankings. He was a part of the 2015 class.
He was considered the No. 14 player in South Carolina by ESPN and the No. 2 safety in South Carolina by Scout.com. He had 69 receptions for 910 yards and 12 touchdowns, two kickoff returns for touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown as a senior. He also had 60 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups. He was recruited to Clemson by Mike Reed but also had offers from Umass, Louisville, NC State and Towson.
He redshirted his first year in Clemson. Entering his redshirt senior season, Johnson has accumulated 56 career tackles, THREE tackles for loss, FOUR pass breakups, and ONE fumble recovery in 26 appearances.
"Some games he might run out there first, depending on what packages we're in. Some games he might not run out there first but he's a starter on this football team," Dabo continued to say. "He starts on special teams and he is really a valuable member of this team."
Swinney continued to make it clear how much he thought of Denzel saying, "He's gonna have a great year. Had a heckuva year last year. Really came on for us and really came through big time."
"He's the perfect example of a guy who just hung in there. And he is a really good football player now."
Denzel has a chance this season to help contribute and be a supplemental piece in a veteran secondary with a lot of young & talented depth. How he performs and takes advantage of his opportunities will significantly impact his potential in football after college.
"He is a really good football player now. And a guy who will get a legit shot at the next level," Swinney told the media contingent.
"He is a talented athlete that has really become a very functional guy in our secondary and with some versatility. I'm proud of him."