Clemson defensive back Jadar Johnson made a bold move ahead of the Fiesta Bowl, stating the Tigers have played against better quarterbacks than Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett.
Clemson defensive back Jadar Johnson fired the first shots prior to the Tigers’ matchup with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff.
Johnson, during Tuesday’s media session with reporters, said that Clemson has faced better quarterbacks than Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett. That’s partially a reference to Clemson having been tasked with stopping Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in a win over Louisville earlier this season.
The Tigers and Buckeyes square off in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night for a trip to the national championship game.
“We have played better quarterbacks than him,” Johnson said. “I’m not taking anything away from him. I don’t think he is a bad player. He is definitely a good player, but he does not stand out as one of the best quarterbacks that we have played this year.”
Johnson tied for second in the ACC with five interceptions and took aim at Barrett’s passing ability – or lack thereof in his mind. Barrett threw for 2,428 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions while being named the Big Ten quarterback of the year.
Barrett also is a solid runner – he rushed for 847 yards and nine touchdowns – which is something that Johnson did not dispute.
“I feel like he is a great quarterback with his legs,” Johnson said. “I don’t feel real strong about his arm. I don’t think he is one of the best passers. So I feel like if we can limit him on his legs and limit him in the running game, I feel like we will have a pretty good chance going against this offense because they are a run-first offense.”
Johnson didn’t stop with Barrett, though. He also stopped short of complimenting Ohio State standout Curtis Samuel, who was named a first-team All-American as an all-purpose player. Samuel had 1,526 total yards and scored 15 touchdowns.
“I just don’t think he’s played a defense like we have yet,” Johnson said.