The junior-to-be has been a terror under the Friday night lights starting and starring for the Scorpions since his freshman season. Johnson’s unique skill set has produced high-end results. Last season as a sophomore he rushed for 1013 yards (7.7/per attempt), 12 touchdowns and added another 264 and four more scores lining up outside at receiver.
This fall he’s hoping to upgrade from duel-purpose to triple threat as he’s been working at linebacker and will play both ways when Edge opens their season in Tucson against Catalina Foothills on August 21st.
“We lost a couple seniors last year at the linebacker position,” Johnson told Sports360AZ.com. “Coach was looking for me to fill that position so I’m back there doing everything I can to help our team.”
Part of filling out the position is further filling out his body. The 6’1 athlete who has a rare combination of power and speed has bulked up from 210 last season to 225 this spring. Johnson said the added weight hasn’t slowed his speed or lateral quickness as he prepares both physically and mentally for the added workload.
“He’s gotten bigger, faster and stronger,” Desert Edge head coach Rich Wellbrock said to Sports360AZ.com last week. “Natural instincts, leadership capabilities. He has [the total] package.”
Defense isn’t completely foreign to Johnson. The Sports360AZ All-Academic Team member played defensive end in Pop Warner because of his size before being “thrown to wolves at running back” as Wellbrock described once he arrived at Desert Edge.
The Scorpions, who finished 10-2 last season, expect to pick right up where they left off offensively returning many of their top playmakers from a unit which averaged around 480 total yards per game in 2014.
Johnson is hoping to make the same impact defensively and help propel Edge to a Division III championship later this year.