Samuel Johnson has had a few bumps in the road during his senior year. After committing to UCF this summer, the offensive lineman from Cedar Grove H.S. (Ga.) dislocated his shoulder, watched several teammates go down with injuries, and has also had grade issues, but he isn't letting any of that get in his way.
"I had a pretty good season," Johnson told InsideKnights.com. We had a lot of good players get banged up, so that hurt. We went 6-4 and missed the playoffs."
Johnson dislocated his shoulder early in the season and said it bothered him through the year.
"It was really affecting me with pull-blocks and line blocks. I had to use my hands a lot more because my shoulder would pop in and out of place if I exerted it too much."
The 6'5", 260 lb. lineman recently had his shoulder operated on and said that everything is progressing smoothly.
"My surgery was on the 30th of last month and it's improving. During the season, I tried to fight through the pain, but I was really limited in what I could do."
Johnson is also dealing with grade issues, but he said he will work diligently to right the ship.
"My grades fell off. There are no ands, ifs or buts about it, but I am going to straighten everything out."
Grades were just one of the things Johnson and Coach George O'Leary talked about during an in-house visit on Tuesday.
"Coach O'Leary and Coach Kelly came and visited today, and we talked about a lot of things. [O'Leary] is a great guy. We talked about grades and what it would take for me to play. I love UCF; I like the weather, the campus and I really want to play there."
Johnson was supposed to visit UCF this weekend, but he said he'd delay his visit until May.
"I'd like to enroll with everyone else this year and I can if I do well in school, I have a legit shot of getting qualified, so I'm going to work at it. I talked with Coach about possibly grey-shirting and enrolling during January, so that's an option."
Despite having to overcome many obstacles his senior year, Johnson is optimistic and believes he can make amends for his grade problems. Anyone who saw what Johnson did to try to perform his best this year despite a bum shoulder knows that he will do whatever he can to get eligible so he can become a Knight on time.
Talking with Samuel Johnson
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