Xavier Johnson stepped into the spotlight with some key plays during Ohio State’s Week 1 win over Notre Dame. However, those moments were a long time coming.

A member of the 2018 recruiting class, Johnson was mainly a special teams contributor for the Buckeyes until catching a go-ahead touchdown pass from CJ Stroud late in the third quarter. Though some injuries to the receiver room paved the way, Johnson stepped up when the time came.

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After the game, Johnson admitted there were times along his Ohio State journey that he contemplated “throwing in the towel.” But after sticking things out, he has an early signature moment to the 2022 season.

After the touchdown catch, Johnson stepped back into his role on the kickoff coverage unit and was in on the tackle. Johnson simply said he was in his position doing what he’s been coached to do.

Head coach Ryan Day also praised Johnson after the game, calling him a bit of a “throwback” player for the Buckeyes. Quarterback CJ Stroud also said Johnson “is a dog” and discussed his leadership.