Leonard Johnson has a lot to prove tonight — and the rest of the way this season.
According to Coach Paul Rhoads, the Iowa State cornerback has a reputation as a defensive star that he hasn’t yet earned. Johnson was torched last week in ISU’s 41-36 loss at Kansas going against top-flight receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier.
Briscoe twice beat him for touchdowns in the second half.
“It wasn’t a good week for me,” Johnson said afterwards. “Next week I have to get on my grind, get on my film work.”
Rhoads had this to say about his sophomore defensive back earlier this week, which may have been a motivational tactic or just the honest truth:
“Leonard had such a good freshman season, that I think he was put at a level higher than his performance as a cornerback,” he said. “A lot of his attention was because of kickoff returns.”
“He’s far from arrived as a cornerback. He knows that. If I was to go back and grade him (last year) he probably didn’t grade out real high week in and week out because he is still learning the game… so it’s constant motivation and teaching to help him become better.”