Linebacker steps up his game
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 19:09
Ben Johnson, #41 with the UTM Skyhawks, has been making a name for himself lately as a defensive player.
Johnson has been with the Skyhawks for 3 years now, and is majoring in sports management. It is hard to believe that he started off as a walk-on, yet played like he was on a scholarship. He has worked very hard to get where he is in his football career, and after just one year of being a walk-on, he received a full scholarship.
Johnson is on the defensive end of the ball at outside linebacker and is responsible for tackling the runner with the ball and covering people if the other team passes the ball. His best performance yet was last week against Southeast Louisiana. He had 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 tackle for loss. Just after three games, Johnson has a total of 34 tackles, which is the most on the team right now. He had 13 tackles at Northern Illinois and nine tackles at Memphis.
Johnson said that the Memphis game was a special one for him.
“Beating Memphis was the best moment, because they were a FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision),” Johnson said.
Ben has only improved each season, and Skyhawk Coach Jason Simpson is noticing.
“You don’t realize how fast Ben is. He is both fast and smart. He is a speed player, and he plays to space and takes good angles when he makes a tackle. He also has the physical ability to deliver a hit. Last year Ben developed into a starter,” Simpson said.
In last year’s season, Johnson has put up some impressive numbers. He has had two interceptions, 68 tackles and 5 sacks; he was also the OVC Player of the Week and CFPA player of the week once. Since last week’s game against Southeastern Louisiana, Johnson has received OVC Player of the Week again.
As far as plans after he graduates, Johnson said that if the opportunity was there for football after college he would go for it, but if not, he is going to focus on graduating and try to find a job in coaching.
Johnson, along with his fellow Skyhawks, will be playing this Saturday, Sept. 22 at Austin Peay.