Central grad Johnson starting for Bears on Sunday


CHICAGO, Ill. — Fresno native Jaylon Johnson, a second-round pick of the Chicago Bears in April, struck a confident tone Tuesday, as he gets ready to be the first rookie to start at cornerback for the Bears since 1990.

Johnson confirmed to the Chicago media that he will be starting for the Bears in their season opener on Sunday in Detroit, a day after he was listed as a starter at the position, when the Bears released their unofficial depth chart.

So, how did Johnson find out the news?

“I mean, I saw it the same way everybody else seen it, on Twitter.” said the former U.S. Army All-American as a senior at Central High School in 2017 and second-team Associated Press All-American as a junior at Utah in 2019. “But I mean honestly, at the end of the day, for me, that didn’t mean too much for me because I just try to approach every day as if I’m the starter. So I mean, I wasn’t going to prepare any different or take any different approach. For me, it’s just about being ready. And that’s about it.”

It’s the first time since the 1990 season the Bears will start a rookie at corner in Week 1.

“I’m more than ready in my head. I’ve been preparing my whole life for this. I’m not lacking any confidence. I just go into the game with God having my back and just approach every play by play.”

Johnson was taken No. 52 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, after leaving Utah with one year of eligibility remaining. According to Bear Report on 247sports.com, Johnson entered the offseason in a battle for the starting job with Kevin Toliver, Tre Roberson, and Artie Burns. But both Burns and Roberson suffered injuries during the offseason and Toliver was cut on Saturday as the team named their 53-man roster.

One man who isn’t suprised at all by this news is Jaylon’s former head coach at Central, Kyle Biggs.

“Jaylon is the hardest working young man I have ever coached and the most talented,” Biggs told Sports Central. “Whatever he sets his mind to do, he accomplishes, and he is on a mission to prove he should have been a first-rounder.”

The Bears opener against the Detroit Lions Sunday is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

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