Larry Johnson on Retirement Rumors: “I'm Not Going Anywhere”

By Kevin Harrish on October 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm

At the end of last season, rumors began to swirl that Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson – widely regarded as the best defensive line coach in the country – was nearing retirement.

Message boards were abuzz and the rumors became a central part of key recruiting battles for a few highly-rated defensive linemen, including Tyreke Smith, Jayson Oweh and Zach Harrison.

The trouble was, Johnson himself had never said anything about retirement.

"You want to know when I'm going to retire? Might want to ask me," Johnson said recently in an interview for BTN's The Journey. "I kept hearing all these rumors, coach Johnson this, he's gonna do this, he's gonna retire – like, no one has asked me."

Johnson felt he needed to make a statement, so he drafted up a Tweet, and brought it to Urban Meyer for approval.

"I'm not going anywhere," Johnson said. "I'm in great health, I absolutely enjoy what I do, and I have great passion for the game."

While he does not know exactly how long he'll remain in coaching, he's certainly not planning to call it quits anytime soon.

"Who knows?" He continued, "I don't know how long I'm going to do this, but I tell you right now, there is no stopping in coach Johnson as a coach."

And that's good news for the Buckeyes. In his time in Columubs, Johnson has turned Ohio State's defensive line into a consistent strength and really the cornerstone of the Buckeye defense.

This season in particular, Johnson leads a unit that is arguably the top defensive line in the nation, at least according to the Buckeyes.

"The whole 'best in the country' thing, that can always lead up to who has the names, and who looks good on paper," Dre'Mont Jones told BTN. "Clemson has a lot of big name guys, and we don't."

When it comes to performance, there's no discrediting what this unit, led by Johnson, has been able to accomplish this season.

"Stats don't lie, what d-line has scored 21 points?" Taron Vincent told BTN. "That alone should just tell you that we're the best."

"We get the most pressures, we have the players, we have the players, we have the coach," Tyreke Smith added. "We're definitely the best defensive line in the country, and I no doubt about that."

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