Inky Johnson had dreams of one day playing in the NFL but after suffering a devastating injury during his Volunteer playing career, that dream was never fulfilled. You never know how someone will react to adversity on that level but instead of letting it discourage him, Johnson has found a new career as one of the nation’s best motivational speakers.

With the latest training camp on Rocky Top winding down, looking to add some extra juice to the practice field and in the Tennessee football complex, Jeremy Pruitt welcomed Johnson to speak to his football team.

Johnson’s speech not only left an impression on Pruitt, it clearly impacted the players on Tennessee’s roster. During his Saturday media availability, Pruitt credited Johnson for getting the Tennessee players to give better effort on the field.

“I felt like the effort to start practice was much improved,” Pruitt said. “We had a speaker last night, Inky (Johnson) spoke, I’ve heard him speak before and he did a fantastic job. He talked about what it meant for him to be at Tennessee. The message he shared with the players is right on track with what we’ve been talking about since we’ve been here. There was definitely much more energy. So my question is do we have to go get Inky before we go out there and practice every day? But there was more energy to start practice so that was positive.”


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Following those comments, Tennessee shared video of Johnson’s speech to the team: