Fall Camp Report: Steven Johnson

Sept. 1, 2010

With the first game of the season less than one week away, the Kansas football team is making its final adjustments for the season-opener against North Dakota State. The Jayhawks will open the 2010 season under first year Head Coach Turner Gill and a bevy of new faces.

Junior Steven Johnson, a linebacker from Media, Pa. Johnson played on special teams last year, but earned a starting spot in camp this season. He sat down with KUAthletics.com to discuss being the only player on the team from Pennsylvania and his thoughts on the upcoming season.

On being the only player on the team from the state of Pennsylvania, and what brought him to Lawrence:

“I knew I wanted to go far away; I wanted to get away from home and experience something new. When Kansas gave me an opportunity to come here, it was really a no-brainer; I knew that’s where I would go.”

On if he has any rivalries with teammates since he comes from farther away:

“I’m an (Philadelphia) Eagles fan – I’m pretty much the only Eagles fan on this team, everybody else likes the (Dallas) Cowboys. When the Eagles beat the Cowboys, I’m the one that gets to brag a little bit.”

On what he has done to prepare to step up his role as a linebacker with all the setbacks that the defense has had:

“For myself, I’m just trying to be the best linebacker that I can to help the team. With all the people getting hurt, everybody else has to step up. There’s only five or six (linebackers) out here who will get a chance to play, and they will have to learn the defense really fast. We are getting stronger as a whole now, not one person can do it alone – as a defense we will have to do it together if we want to beat any team.”

On what he misses most about being out East:

“I would definitely have to say my family and friends. When I came out here I didn’t know anyone, but now (my teammates) are my family out here. Other than that, I like it out here in Lawrence, it’s a college town, we have Mass Street, and everybody loves KU. When I go home it’s more of a chilled and laid-back environment, I get to relax and enjoy being home.”

On what he is looking forward to the most this upcoming season and goals he has set for himself:
“I want to be one of the best linebackers in the Big 12, I want to be able to (be named) All-Big 12, since this is my first year playing. Team goals: I know I want to beat K-State, Nebraska – first and foremost, I cannot stand Nebraska – and Missouri, of course. Those are the three teams that I’m always thinking about. I feel like Georgia Tech (is a very big game) coming up, too. I feel like, if we can win that game, there will be a lot of people jumping on board.”