2002 Rose Bowl Co-MVP. Top-five pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. A five-time Pro Bowler and one of the most elite players in the NFL. Former Hurricane and current wide receiver for the Houston Texans Andre Johnson has been one of the most explosive, entertaining players to watch in all of football. He shared some of his experiences with The Miami Hurricane.
The Miami Hurricane: UM has always been a place where former athletes all get together. What makes it such a nesting ground for everyone to come back?
Andre Johnson: I think after going through what you go through when you’re here, as far as the training, just being around the guys, the brotherhood that you develop. We all go off our separate ways during the season; you really don’t have that same brotherhood like you had when you are here.
It’s a little different now. Guys are married, have their families and things like that but when you’re here, it’s just like a family atmosphere. It’s something that we come here in the offseason and just kind of get to relive the memories we had when we were here in school.
TMH: With the NFL Draft coming up next week, it’s a very important time for some of our guys here who are leaving. Can you talk about your experience with the draft?
AJ: I’m pretty sure a lot of them won’t sleep the night before the draft. It’s a childhood dream. Everybody growing up playing football always says they want to play in the NFL. For that day to come, knowing that your name is going to get called, it’s just very anxious. You’re just ready for your name to get called and to get to the team and start working with the team.
I’m pretty sure they wont sleep the night before the draft, but I’m sure that it will be a lot of fun and an exciting time for them.
TMH: Do you have any suggestions for the guys like Leonard Hankerson and Brandon Harris who are going to be waiting for their names to be called on the first day?
AJ: I think in the draft, you don’t want to assume that your name is going to be called at a certain time. It’s pretty much based off team needs, and you just have to be patient. If you look at it, every year there is always one guy that gets frustrated or a little overwhelmed because his name is not called when he thinks it should be called. I think that the biggest thing is just being patient, don’t put too much pressure on yourself about that. Just sit back, relax, enjoy the day, enjoy your family. Once your name is called you can start celebrating.
TMH: Since 2003, you’ve been one of the top wide receivers in the league. Can you talk about what your training process is like?
AJ: Every year I just try to come in and work harder than I worked the year before. I come back here and do the same things I’ve done to get me to the point where I made it into the NFL. That’s why I come back here, that’s why I bust my butt every day that I’m in here so that I can stay on top of my game. I’m not getting any younger, and there are a lot of talented guys coming in every year. You have to compete at a high level every year, so I just try to maintain what I’ve been doing.
TMH: Has the lockout altered your training process during the offseason?
AJ:I started a little later this year because of a little ankle surgery that I had. That’s pretty much it, but it hasn’t changed anything as far as me training. I just got cleared by the doctor, but that’s the only thing that has held me back a little bit.
TMH: What do you think about the Canes’ new coaching regime and their upcoming season?
AJ: From what I hear, I really have big expectations for them. I think that Coach Golden is going to do a great job. You can definitely tell that he’s bringing back that old Miami tradition, and I think that’s something that we need. I think we kind of got away from it the last couple of years. By him bringing it back he’s going to help the program. Even bringing Coach Kehoe back, a guy who has been here through all of the national championships and knows what it takes to have the program back to where it used to be, I think it’s going to be a great year for us.
The Miami Hurricane would like to thank Muscle Milk for allowing this interview.
Ernesto Suarez may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.