Austin Johnson (who sports an audacious beard) was kind enough to give us some one-on-one time. This is part of our yearly, preseason Meet The Players series. Most of us want to learn about the players outside of the x’s and o’s.
Johnson sports jersey #35, and you have seen him a lot in the 2014 New Orleans Saints preseason games as a full back. The Saints are known for their versatility on offense so Johnson not only blocks but also is in the rotation for a catch or a run or two. The flexibility he has shown with the Saints is just a continuation of the versatility he showed on his pro day at the Tennessee Volunteers.
Per Rob Rang of NFLDraftSout.com stated “03/17/12 – Tennessee Pro Day: One player who helped show off his versatility Friday was linebacker/fullback Austin Johnson. Johnson led the Vols with 81 tackles in 2011 while playing inside linebacker. The 6-2, 240 pound Johnson had previously played fullback for Tennessee, however, and took part in drills at both positions Friday, showing off better all-around athleticism and versatility than many had previously given him credit for possessing.”
Austin impresses as a team first kinda guy
“I feel like a lot of the fullback stuff comes naturally to me, running routes and those kind of drills,” Johnson said. “I definitely will do some more offensive stuff, catching more balls if I have to. My main focus is linebacker unless a team says they want me [at fullback]. Wherever I end up going, I’ll adjust accordingly.”
He converted to a linebacker in his junior year after having spent the first two years at full back, and seeing him in action in the Saints preseason game, we would say he has adjusted admirably.
We asked Austin five questions …
1. WDW Which living person inspires you the most and why? AJ my dad. He grew up without a father and has become a very successful business man. His drive and determination inspires me everyday.
2. WDW Who taught you to never give up? AJ my buddy in high school. He got cancer and beat it after five years. He never gave up.
3. WDW What is your favorite movie? AJ How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days
4. WDW What are the first ten words of your favorite joke? AJ What do you call a deer with no eyes?
5. WDW What motto do you want your children to have? AJ If you ain’t first, you’re last.
WDW would like to thank Austin for his time. If he has inspired you, tweet him @ or leave a comment below.