March 26, 2012
Steven Johnson discusses his commitment to Army
For Steven Johnson, attending West Point is a dream come true, and playing for the Army Black Knights is just icing on the cake.
Just prior to National Signing Day, it appeared that the 6-foot-0, 176 pound strong safety was bound for Albany to play his collegiate football, where Johnson had initially committed to Albany as a preferred walk-on.
He originally committed to them, but once Army came into the picture it didn't take long for the New York state native to change his mind. "Just looking at the bigger picture on how well West Point can set me up for future is what really sold me," says the now USMAPS bound Johnson. "It has always been academics first for me because my father is a retired 20-year Army veteran and he really stressed academics. So when I had the opportunity to go to a school of caliber of West Point, I couldn't pass that up."
So when did Army - Johnson courtship take place?
"They have been recruiting me since the end of my football year and they came in a little late .... that's when they offered me the opportunity to play for them," says Johnson, who saw his Army/West Point future begin to unfold in February. "So, I went on my visit sometime in February after signing day."
"Originally it took place in February," says Johnson, recalling his commitment to the Black Knights of Army.
With Army being such a national recruiting program, Johnson is one of the few players from the 2012 class who will be playing close to home. The prospect from Newburgh, New York is only about 30 minutes away from the West Point campus.
At Newburgh, his primary position was safety, but it appears that his first look for Army will be as a cornerback. "When I spoke to Coach Ellerson, he said he sees me more as a corner for them," says Johnson.
Does Johnson for see any difficulty in transitioning from his customary strong safety position that he played at Newburgh? "The way we ran our defense, we moved around a lot and we had a lot of corners blitzing," he adds. "So I would come over the top and replace that corner playing a one on one situation. So it's not going to be too big of a transition. When I first started playing the staff wanted me at corner, but I ended up being a little bit bigger than our corners so they just moved me back to safety."
"Right now I'm just running track to get my feet faster and working on my forty time. At corner there isn't a lot of straight running ... it's moving all over the place, so I'm working on my footwork a lot."
For the outdoor track season, Johnson will be running the 100M and 200M.
He also played some wide receiver when this team's primary receiver was injured during the 2011 season. On the year, Johnson had 8 interceptions, with approximately 56 tackles and 16 pass breakups.
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