Sun, 17 Jan 2021

5 things you may not know about Jaylon Johnson

Chicago Bears
26 Nov 2020, 15:37 GMT+10

Nathan Smith

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson has been one of the most consistent rookies in the league. Here are five things you may not know about him:

(1) He comes from a family of cornerbacks.

Johnny Johnson Sr. played at Fresno State. Johnny Johnson Jr. played at UCLA before transferring to his father's alma mater. The two poured their positional knowledge into the younger Johnson, preparing him to play the position at the highest level.

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Although Johnny Jr. and Jaylon's time didn't overlap in the Pac-12, Jaylon used his brother's success to measure himself.

"That definitely set the standard," said Johnson. "It just always gave me something to compete against, not just myself. To have someone close to me, pushing me through his actions, wanting to be the best in the family and the best overall playing that position."

(2) His favorite book is about greatness.

Johnson's favorite book is "Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable," by Tim Grover. Grover served as a personal trainer for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Johnson sought out the book to look for things to apply to his personal goals.

"Books are about education," said Johnson. "Any time you can read a book and take something from it and apply it to an aspect of your life, I find that gravitates you toward the book more."

(3) He's saving his NFL money.

Like fellow rookie Darnell Mooney, Johnson has kept a lid on his spending as a rookie. He has decided to forgo flashy purchases until he's solidified his standing in the NFL.

"All my checks have been going to a distant account," said Johnson. "I haven't touched any of my NFL money."

(4) His mentor is now a reality TV star.

Outside of his immediate family, Johnson considers his college position coach Sharrief Shah to be the individual who has had the most significant impact on his life. Shah went from star player at the University of Utah to a successful attorney in Salt Lake City before becoming the Utes cornerbacks coach in 2012.

"On the day we first met, we just gravitated toward each other," said Johnson. "He was somebody who wasn't just a coach. He was also a mentor. He was like that uncle to me that took me under his wing and taught me how to be a man."

Lately, though, Shah has earned notoriety in a different fanbase as the husband of Jen Shah, one of the stars of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

"It's funny because I was there when they first started making it and trying to build it up," said Johnson. "I happened to be at his house one day, and he was like 'Man, I could care less about it, but it makes [Jen] happy, then I'll do it.'"

(5) As soon as COVID restrictions lift, he's headed to the Dominican Republic.

Johnson's career has taken him to increasingly cold climates, going from Fresno to Salt Lake City to Chicago. His schedule and pandemic restrictions have limited his extracurricular options, but as soon as he's able, he will head south.

He's considering Hawaii, Jamaica and Cabo San Lucas, but on top of his list is the Dominican Republic.

"I've just heard it was a fun place," said Johnson. "I haven't done too much research into it, but the people that I've talked to, they've all enjoyed it."

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