WACO, TX — When he was cut by the Carolina Panthers back in November, Clay Johnston was ready to head home.

“I had my truck packed up, I was getting ready to drive back to Texas, and then my agent called and was like ‘hey, the Bengals claimed you’ and I was like ‘let’s freaking go, I mean like let’s go I have a chance to play football again” he said.

Fast forward a little over seven months, and the former Baylor Bear standout is not just playing football again, but he is less than 48 hours away from playing on the biggest stage that the sport has to offer.

“It’s still surreal,” Johnston said. “I remember when we won that game, for a whole two hours guys were just like ‘we’re going to play in the super bowl, we’re going to play in the super bowl,’ and I’m just like ‘dude it’s crazy.’ We’ve found a way to just win the games in crucial moments and and crucial times and so hopefully, lord willing we can do that one more time, and god that would be amazing.”

To win that final game, the Bengals will have to take down the Los Angeles Rams, which funny enough, is the team that drafted Johnson out of Baylor back in 2020.

“Tremayne Anchrum, one of their o-linemen, he just texted me out of the blue and he was just like ‘so this is how it is then brother,’ and I was just like ‘can you believe this man? This is absolutely insane.'”

Now while he will matchup with some of his former NFL teammates on Sunday, j=Johnston will be the lone representative from Baylor Football. He’ll look to add to the program’s extended trophy collection over the past few months.

“I was talking to another guy who was like ‘hey if you win that Super Bowl, they’re going to have to kiss that ring at ol’ Baylor University’ and I was like ‘good god man no I’m going to be kissing that sugar bowl ring because I really wanted that sugar bowl'” Johnston said. “I’ll always be a Baylor Bear, Sic ‘Em. Hopefully we can bring back a Super Bowl to Waco in a sense, that would be awesome.”