Name: Colby Johnson
School: Ottawa University KS
Position: LB
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 210

What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?

I was able to become Ottawa Universities all-time leading tackler with 460 career tackles. This was a goal I had set for myself a year or two ago and was proud to accomplish. I was also selected as an NAIA All-American linebacker for the second straight year. As well as being selected to the AP News NAIA All-American second team. On the academic side I was named a COSIDA Academic All-American as well as a semi-finalist for the National Football Foundations William V. Campbell trophy. I was also selected to participate in the NAIA Senior Football Classic. This was a great opportunity to show off my skills against the best seniors in the country, as well as being able to make great connections. This season I was able to accomplish goals I had set for myself both on the field and in the classroom.

Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?

With this extra year of eligibility, I was not only able to strengthen my skills on the field but also off of it. I was able to continue to work on the mental aspect of the game and my abilities to study and diagnose plays. Along with this I was able to strengthen my skills and focus on other aspects to help continue my growth at linebacker. Exposing myself to new techniques helped make me a more well-rounded athlete.

Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?

My coaches and teammates would say that I am hard working, energetic, passionate, and driven towards not only the game of football but also my team. They would also say that I am a dedicated leader who looks to push teammates and expects greatness from them. I think both players and coaches respect me not only as an athlete but also an individual. One of my favorite parts of playing was my relationships with my teammates and coaches. I was humbled after finishing my career when current and former players/coaches reached out to congratulate me and thanked me for being such a significant part of their time at Ottawa.

Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?

I always look for ways that I can get to the ball faster. Whether that’s getting off a block quicker with better hands, or having better eyes when attacking a gap. I think many people look at failure negatively. I have always viewed failure as an opportunity to sharpen and strengthen my game. Along with that, the ability to study and attain knowledge on opponents has been crucial to my success. Calling out the play a team is running or diagnosing a formation has not only helped me make plays, but also helps my team.

Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?

I am constantly learning. My ability to understand the game and have knowledge of all aspects has helped me make plays throughout my career. Getting to the ball faster first begins with understanding what obstacles are in my way. This comes from my effort in studying and learning from film. This also lends its hand to the vision I show on the field. I get to the ball with no questions asked. Not being the biggest guy, I have had to use a combination of speed and power to get off blocks and make plays. My passion and relentless drive for the game of football helps me remain focused on my goals. One of the things that separates me is the drive I show not only towards my own goals, but also the goals of my teammates. Individual success does not happen on its own.

Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?

Currently I am a strength and conditioning coach at Ottawa University. With this I will continue to train myself to stay ready for any opportunities that may present themselves. Working on speed, quickness, and my explosiveness are important to helping me continue to succeed at my position. The opportunity to also coach athletes will give me more background into my own personal training and workouts. I am in a very fortunate position to have access to state-of-the-art facilities at Ottawa to help me continuing training.

Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?

Number one my work ethic and passion towards the game of football is unmatched. I am always looking to improve myself and learn from mistakes and the individuals who have found success at the next level. Secondly, my ability to get to the ball and make plays helps me stand out. Along with this I am someone who understands that success does not come without doubt. I have had to work extremely hard and prove to people that I can compete at a high level and find success. Nothing has ever been given to me and this has made me very humble and appreciative of the opportunities that I have received. Teams need to understand that I am a guy who will take full advantage of an opportunity and will look to become an impact both on and off the field. I am a man of high character who is going to represent myself and my team by showing up, working hard, and representing the organization positively.

Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?

If you are looking for a player that works hard, is dedicated, and a student of the game- always learning and looking to improve himself and others around him than I am your guy. I have never had anything just given to me. I have always had to work hard to chase my dreams and goals. I am someone who is willing to put in the work and also understands that success does not come on its own. Flying around, making plays, and competing with a chip on my shoulder, to not only prove I belong, but to also show kids who may not be the biggest or strongest that they can accomplish great things.