Former Clemson Tiger joins police department

Tayquon Johnson, two-time ACC Champion, is new addition to Laurens Police Department
How a former Clemson tiger is putting on a new uniform and joining the Laurens Police Department
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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LAURENS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Tayquon Johnson, a former Clemson Tiger, who is known for making his mark both on and off the field, has joined the Laurens Police Department.

“He has an empathy level like no other,” Chief Keith Grounsell told FOX Carolina. “His passion is to help people. He made that very clear from day one.”

At Clemson, Johnson received several awards and special recognition for his leadership as a student athlete and his dedication to community service. He’s also the 2019 recipient of the O.J. Brigance Courage Award, which is an annual award given to a student athlete who exemplifies faith, focus, and fortitude by overcoming adversity.

“I didn’t have the best upbringing, but because I kept my faith and continued to study my Bible I was able to (achieve) what people would say is success,” Johnson said.

Johnson grew up in the Baltimore, Maryland area with a mother who struggled with alcohol addiction and a father who was in and out of prison.

“I had a grandfather who help me keep my wits and gave me a way to continue to be a man,” Johnson said.

When Johnson was 16, Robert and Karen Green adopted him and helped bring more stability to his life. When he joined the Clemson football team, Johnson said Coach Dabo Swinney often reminded the players that growing academically and personally were equally important.

“Coach Swinney preaches a lot that football isn’t everything,” Johnson said.

Johnson said his life experience will provide extra insight as he works to serve and protect the community.

“What I want to do in Laurens is tell people that it’s okay to speak up and it’s okay to struggle,” Johnson said. “We’re here to be here on your worst days. We’re here to help you grow.”