The Marty Smith Podcast: Inky Johnson Talks His Journey, NIL Deals, and Transfer Portal

by Chase Thomas

What a wild last few weeks of NFL football, folks. A lot of football fans did not think the NFL could pull off back-to-back stellar weekends of playoff action. However, that is exactly what happened. In the latest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast, Marty and co-host Wes Blankenship dive into all of that. Plus, an interview with Inky Johnson on his journey, NIL, the transfer portal in college sports, and a multitude of other subjects.

How can you not begin the podcast with former LSU Heisman winner and National Champion Joe Burrow, though? That’s what Marty and Wes agreed on. Burrow is on quite the hot streak. A historic one, in fact, as Wes points out early on in the podcast that only a couple of other quarterbacks have ever won a National Championship and a Super Bowl. In two weeks, Burrow has the opportunity to finish out this hot streak as the underdog once more against Matt Stafford, another SEC guy, and the Los Angeles Rams.

Marty knew something was different early on with Burrow, though. He got to know the former Ohio State QB when he was a Buckeye and talked about how he just knew there was something special about him. He’s not the least bit surprised to see what he’s doing now for Cincinnati.

“He’s a magician, and he just has a moxie and a self-confidence that everybody in that organization has fed off in an overwhelming, indescribable way.”

Inky Johnson Joins The Marty Smith Podcast

After the guys finish talking about Joe Burrow and company, Inky Johnson joined the program for an interview with Marty. Marty begins the interview by talking about the injury that Johnson sustained in the Tennessee vs. Air Force game that ended his playing career. Inky said of the event, “I just recall people just being around me. You know, teammates and they were just telling me to get up, Ink, let’s go. Let’s go!”

Inky added about his perspective after the injury, “That’s one of the reasons I look at life the way I do, Marty, and I value people.”

Inky recalled what it was like when he first got to the University of Tennessee. He told Marty when asked about his first impressions there in Knoxville, “It’s unbelievable, right? I was like, man, you got the infrastructure and all you got to do is have the character to do what you say you’re going to do.”

Inky talks to Marty about where humans often make the mistake in where they find their joy, which can be from “external things.” “My joy and my fulfillment is an inside job,” Inky concludes.

You can listen to The Marty Smith Podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.