Jovon Johnson: 'We Strive For Excellence'

Veteran CB Jovon Johnson spoke with the media day about excitement for the new season, advice to younger players and reasons why the Iowa program succeeds. Read what he had to say in this premium Q & A.

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Q: (On whether Adam Shada will be able to step up)

Jovon Johnson: Last year he didn't really get the opportunity to play as much as he could have, but I'm sure with practice and working up to the game, he'll be ready to go. Adam (Shada)'s the type of guy who's real smart in school, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that someone who's smart in school is going to be smart on the field. I'm sure he'll make the right decisions and with his athletic ability, it'll take care of itself.

Q: Coach talked about him sometimes thinking too much, how do you tell him, "Adam, just let it go"?

Johnson: We talked about things, him being my backup at one point and now a starting role, I just tell him to relax. Sometimes he gets a little crazy and starts thinking about things too much, I just try and get him to relax and go out and play and not worry about certain things and do what he knows he's capable of doing

Q: Is it hard to believe it's your last year?

Johnson: Definitely. It is my last year, so I have high expectations for myself and the team. It seems like yesterday I was a freshman, but now that I'm a senior I feel like it's my job to take more of a role.

Q: Is it hard to believe how far the program has come since you've been here?

Johnson: Definitely. This program has made progress each year, each day at practice, we strive for excellence. Nobody's going to be perfect, but if you strive for excellence, good things will happen, and that's why we've been so successful.

Q: How excited are you to just get back out on the field and start playing again instead of practicing?

Johnson: It's been a long time waiting to get back on the field instead of practicing. A lot of people say they hate practice but I kind of like practice, but at the same time I'd rather be playing in a game than practicing. Just being able to go out and play against somebody other than Drew Tate and Jason Manson, it feels good to be able to do that.

Q: Are you guys ready to put last year behind (you) and show what this team can do this year?

Johnson: Definitely, we always talk about every year teams lose certain players and you bring in new players. This year it's going to be a new football team, it's obviously good to be able to go out and see what this team will be able to do this year.

Q: That last play had to be the most memorable of the season last year, is the celebration over?

Johnson: I feel like we've had a lot of time to put that in the past and look forward to this year. I don't think that this team really cares about that play anymore. Going through camp and being around them I kind of sense that they've got that sense of urgency to want to go out and smash heads against somebody else instead of worrying about the catch that Warren (Holloway) made last year. I feel like we're going to into the season and be ready to go.

Q: It seems like you don't worry about the rankings either. Is that one of those things you deal with and don't get caught up in it?

Johnson: Those rankings mean absolutely nothing right now. Hopefully what those rankings say right now will be what they'll be in the end for us. Hopefully we'll be ranked higher in the end than we are now, but it still takes us going out and giving what we can give on the field and winning games to be ranked that high at the end of the season.

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