Will Johnson is a great example of determination and will in the face of adversity. Johnson went undrafted and unsigned after he graduated from WVU in 2011. Much of that was due to the NFL Lockout. When the work stoppage ended, the teams interested in Johnson never called. Some people in Johnson’s place would give up hope and seek out a career elsewhere.
Although he did get a few small jobs to make ends meet, Johnson did everything he could to stay in football shape. He worked out at WVU’s Pro-Day this past March and greatly impressed Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert. The two men who make personnel decisions for the Steelers.
Johnson played wide receiver and tight end for the Mountaineers. He will move to the backfield for the Steelers and will probably line up at fullback.
Johnson signed with the team shortly afterwards and has prepared for Steelers training camp in Latrobe, PA. We caught up with Johnson to ask him a few questions.
WVUPros: What did you do in the offseason to improve your game?
Johnson: In the offseason, I really put forth consistent effort in getting prepared, both mentally and physically, for a demanding training camp schedule.
After the last mini-camp wrapped up in Pittsburgh, I traveled back to my hometown of Dayton, Ohio, to work closely with Mitch Lyons, owner of Centerville Crossfit. I worked one-on-one with my trainer, on a daily basis, focusing on high-intensity, explosive Olympic lifts, endurance, agility and inclusive physical conditioning.
WVUPros: How did you spend your spare time this summer away from the football field?
Johnson: While there wasn’t too much time to spare, it was a great “vacation” period, if you will. I have stayed under the radar, working on getting my thoughts together and resting my body. When I get to Latrobe, I plan to be in ideal shape.
In addition, My fiancé and I put together a fundraiser to benefit a local youth football program, the Centerville Wee Elks. It was nice to have an opportunity to give back to the community and set a positive example for young athletes.
WVUPros: What are your expectations for yourself and your team this season?
Johnson: My first goal is to secure a roster spot. I am determined to prove my worth through work ethic, leadership, consistency and versatility. I want to play at a high level each time I’m on that field and I’ll do whatever I have to do to help this team reach success.
As for the team, I want us working together to reach a common goal – winning another Super Bowl.