Richard Johnson: 2018 Draft Prospect Interview
Name: Richard Kevin Lamar Johnson
School: Howard University
Position: Defensive Line
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
My goal heading into my final collegiate season was to help put Howard University football back on the map. Howard has always been known for their academics, but not as an athletic school, specifically football. Howard had not had a successful season since the 90s. As a senior and one of the leaders on the team, I wanted to help lead the team and turn around the program not only with the rest of my teammates, but also with the new coaching staff that arrived in the beginning of 2017, prior to the upcoming season under current head coach Mike London Sr.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
The three words I would describe my style of play would be consistent, hustle, and selfless.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
As of now, my strength and conditioning coach is helping me to become physically ready for any pro opportunities in the future. My head coach and position coach share their knowledge with me and are teaching me many different techniques I can use on the Defensive Line. For myself, I’m planning on watching a variety of NFL and CFL Defensive Linemen videos to learn new techniques and ways to enhance my game and gain an advantage. Come February, I’ll be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to train with Exos.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
When studying film, what I usually do first is sit back, watch the game and let the film run for a bit just to see what kind of offense I’ll be up against that week. The second time watching the film, I’ll look at the front 5 and whatever backups they have and look at their alignment/stance and watch for certain blocks and plays ran from their alignment/stance. I’ll also look at the backs in the backfield to see where they are aligned since their alignment can also tell me what percentage of plays are ran just from that. The third time watching the film, I’m looking at each Offensive Linemen’s technique and some of their tendencies that I’m able to pick up from watching past games. What I also look at are the Defensive Linemen from the other team and watch what moves worked on each Offensive Lineman that allowed them to make plays and what moves didn’t work against them.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
What separates me from other players on the Defensive Line is that I always have and play with a chip on my shoulder. I always have something to prove and it has always been that way growing up. As always being the underdog, it has always given me that drive to outwork the man next to me or even across from me because I always ask myself, “What does this person have that has him to think he is much more better than I am?” The answer to that question is nothing. Coming from a smaller school, I always come out and play against teams, especially bigger teams, and have that drive to outwork my opponent. My opponent may be bigger and stronger than me, but what they aren’t going to do is outwork or even out hustle me because again, I have that desire to be better than the man in front me and try to beat him every play.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
There are a number things of which I feel that I could bring to a team that would stand out both on and off the field. I strongly believe that I will be able to bring a positive mindset to a team for one. I am a player that’s very coachable and who is willing to learn and pay attention to detail. I am also a very selfless player and will play whatever position the coaches find me suitable to be able to help put the team in a thriving position. Lastly, I am someone who gives it everything he has with every opportunity that is given to him.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
With any opportunity given to showcase my talents, I will give it all that I have in me to make a team better. As a player who has been playing football for some time now, I have grown to have a deeper passion for this sport and it has opened many doors and given me many opportunities throughout my life, so why not give back to it and give it all that I have. I am able to be an individual that will represent an organization very well on and off the field.