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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Chris Johnson, FS, University of North Alabama

NFL teams love Chris Johnson the North Alabama safety. Remember this kid’s name

2017 Statistics

  • 50 Total Tackles – 2.0 TFL – 6 INTs.

What is your name?

  • Chris Johnson.

Where do you play College Football?

  • The University of North Alabama. I previously played at the University at Albany SUNY.

What position do you play?

  • Free Safety.

What is your height/weight?

  • 6’3” 200 lbs.

Did you play any other sports growing up? If so, what were they?

  • I played some baseball as a kid. I ran track a few years, and played one year of basketball in high school. Football was always my love though. I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old.

Who is the toughest player you have competed against in College?

  • I’ve never met someone that just blew me away, but I’d say a guy named Josh Gontarek was the toughest guy I faced day in and day out in practice. The guy had almost perfect hands and knew how to use his body to shield off DBs when making tough catches.

Are you listening to music before a game? If so, what?

  • I’m always listening to music, especially before games. I’m big into rap, so anywhere from Drake to more hard-core rappers like SOB x RBE.

Do you have any superstitions before a game? If so, what are they?

  • I’m not really a superstitious guy. The only thing I do is pray before every game.

Who is your role model & why?

  • Growing up, it was always my dad. I always wanted to be him. He’s the best embodiment of a man that I know. My mentor, Otis Leverette, is another man I really look up to. He brought something out in me that I didn’t know I had. I accredit a lot of my success to his leadership and guidance.

You are an Exercise Science major. What made you pursue that subject?

  • I love sports. Being an exercise science gives me an opportunity to pursue careers, after football, that incorporate sports into them such as athletic training, physical therapy, etc.

While in College, what has been your favorite & least favorite class?

  • My favorite class in college was definitely my exercise physiology class. It was all about how your body functions during exercise. My least favorite were any English classes.

Outside of Football, what has been your favorite experience while in College?

  • My favorite experiences have just been meeting new people from different places. I love expanding my views and listening to how others grew up and what their cultures are like.

Growing up, who was your favorite NFL Team & NFL player, & why?

  • My favorite team is the Saints. My family is from Mobile, AL, which isn’t too far from New Orleans. My favorite NFL player of all time is Ed Reed. He’s the ultimate ball hawk and competitor. You could always count on him making a couple of clutch plays almost every single game. He also brought it in the run game even though he wasn’t the biggest guy.

If you could be in any movie of your choice, what would it be & what character would you play? 

  • I’ve always liked Cinderella Man, because to me it embodies what manhood is about. James Braddock would work as a laborer while pursuing a brighter future with boxing. He made sure he took care of his family no matter what, and I respect that so much. If I had to be in a movie, I would want to be in a movie like that where hard-work and selflessness are emphasized.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who are they? 

  • It would be my Grandfathers, whom I’ve never met, and my dad. I’ve heard so many great stories about my grandfather (moms side), so I’ve always wanted to meet him. He helped mold my dad into the man he is too, so I’d want him to be there too. I don’t know much about my other grandfather, but I would just want him to see the men in his lineage.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose & why?

  • I’d love to meet Alexander. He controlled one of the biggest empires of all time and somehow maintained it throughout his lifetime. All of his men loved and adored him. I want to know how he accomplished these feats.

Who is your favorite superhero & why?

  • Definitely Batman! He doesn’t have a “super power”, he worked hard for years to acquire his skills. That’s more honorable than being born with super strength, speed, etc.

What is your definition of hard work?

  • Everyone is capable of hard-work, but not everyone can work hard toward their goal consistently without wavering or giving up. Sacrificing things that you may want to do temporarily to achieve your ultimate goal is the name of the game. Also, being able to adapt to any environment/situation without skipping a beat in very important to me. It doesn’t matter what you put in front of me, I will find a way to succeed.

What is the most unexpected lesson you learned while in College?

  • That failure is not the end all, be all. I’ve always heard that failure is the most important ingredient for success, but I had to learn that through experience. When one path is closed, make another one. There’s always another path to success, there isn’t just one way to get there.

What is something you wish you could go back & tell yourself as a High School Freshman?

  • I would go back and tell myself to lose that self-doubt and lack of confidence that many young men deal with. With that knowledge, I could’ve achieved everything I have now much earlier.

Why do you wear #13?

  • It is a family number. My sister wore 13 when she played softball at Mississippi State. In all honesty, my favorite number is 8, but it was taken.

What is the best part of your hometown, Birmingham, AL?

  • I think the best part is the support we give to each other as athletes. Anytime I hear about someone from Birmingham doing big things, I’m automatically excited about it. We’re not an Atlanta, NYC, or LA, but we’re very proud of where we come from. Shout out to my 205 people!

Who do you choose, Jordan or LeBron?

  • I’m a Bulls fan, but I have to go with LeBron. There’s no other player that can do what he does at the level he does. He can literally play every position and be a top 5 at all of them. He also elevates any player around him. He plays the game the right way, and he’s never been involved in any scandals off the court. What more could you ask for?

Are you a PS4 or Xbox One guy? What games are you playing right now?

  • I have a PS4, and I’m on the Fortnite wave. Being able to play with friends and beat 99 other people for a win is awesome and it never gets old. When I have downtime that’s definitely my game of choice.

What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete?

  • I’d have to say intercepting Luis Perez twice was pretty fun. He’s a great player and he has a bright future. That was my first game at UNA, and it set the tone for the rest of my season/career.

If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?

  • Health, wealth, and peace of mind for my family.

What is your hidden talent?

  • I’m really good with getting the perfect swirl on a soft serve ice cream cone.

If there is a book written about Chris Johnson, what is the title?

  • “The Master of His Environment.”

What are three things on your “Bucket List?”

  • Most of my bucket list involves providing my family with the best life possible, but 3 things I want personally are to play in the NFL, visit every state in the US, and become a mentor to at least one person.

Are you binge watching anything on Netflix or Hulu right now?

  • Not right now, but I’m waiting on House of Cards and Ozark to come out with new seasons.

If you had one free hour each day, how would you choose to use it?

  • I would spend it with my family. A lot of times we can lose sight of what’s really important. The people in your life are the most important.

If you could intercept any NFL QB, past or present, who would it be & why?

  • Tom brady!! He’s the GOAT.

What are the goals for 2018, both individually & for the North Alabama football team?

  • Individually, I just want to improve on last season and continue to build my body. For UNA, we want to establish a strong name for our first D1 team ever. We want to show that we belong with the top dogs.

If you could give NFL scouts three words to describe the type of man they are getting in Chris Johnson, what would they be?

  1. Unwavering.
  2. Consistent.
  3. Competitive
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