Football

Johnson knows how to handle his business and still have fun

READY TO STRIKE: Aldarius Johnson prepares to block UCF’s Johnell Neal earlier this season. Steve Root // File Photo

His adrenaline gets going.

Young Jeezy’s “Put On” is pulsating through his blood stream, causing him to bounce up and down on the sideline.

It’s third and goal and the Hurricanes need a touchdown.

He is motivated.

No. 4 walks onto the field calm and smooth. He lines up, and then he goes – with ease.

Seconds later he is tapping his toes at the end zone sideline, after scoring his first collegiate touchdown.

This is Aldarius Johnson.

Johnson just “put on for his city” and, more importantly, for his team.

“That is my song,” Johnson said. “I just got in the zone. I was telling my teammates I was going to score right here. The Lord blessed me, and I scored on that play. I couldn’t stop celebrating on the sideline.”

And that is how Johnson is. A young man who is always energetic and forever looking for something fun.

“I just have fun, on and off the field,” Johnson said. “On the field I have fun running around and catching balls. I just want to see everyone happy and the coaches happy, as well. I love to see the coaches have confidence in us to make plays for them.”

Even when Johnson was a little kid he was always having fun and loving the game of football. At the age of 5 Johnson was already into peewee football.

When he was younger, friends and family told him to just stick with it. But it was when he was 9 that he truly fell in love with football.

This love carried him to back-to-back state titles at Miami Northwestern Senior High and an athletic scholarship to a school with five national championships.

Johnson plans to make a living out of football, but he does have a back-up plan if football does not work out.

“Everyone wants to make it to the NFL but you’ve always got to have a back-up plan” Johnson said. “I want to be a sports [analyst]or something that has to do with sports. That’s my love.”

Off the field, Johnson is the same way he is on the field. He is always looking to have fun. He spends the majority of his time watching a lot of movies and spending time with friends.

“He is a good, quiet guy,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “He is happy-go-lucky, fun loving. He is a guy who does his work – do what has to be done. Aldarius is good to be around.”

Since becoming a Hurricane, Johnson has been compared to former Cane Andre Johnson, someone who Aldarius admires.

Andre calls Aldarius often to offer encouragement and share his wisdom. He has taught Aldarius how to use his strength against little defensive backs and to break tackles after the catch.

However, the key influence comes from the people that are always around him.

“Jacory Harris inspires me,” joked Johnson of the freshman quarterback and high school teammate. “No. My mom. She inspires me everyday. [Also], I have a son. So I always tell myself that I’m not doing it for me. I’m doing it for my son and my family. That keeps me motivated.”

This past weekend, Johnson had a career high in yards and receptions, hauling in eight catches for 84 yards and one touchdown.

With time, Johnson will become an even better receiver. He already has great hands and is very efficient running his routes. He will look to improve his speed in the spring by running track.

“My best is yet to come,” he said.

Johnson has the desire and focus to be Miami’s next elite receiver and, better yet, a fun-loving guy.

October 22, 2008

Reporters

Lelan LeDoux

Senior Sports Writer


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