Transcript: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, one of the most heralded players in last year's freshman class is entering his second year of fall camp. Read what he had to say about opportunities on special teams, his attutde toward his other receivers, and much more in this premium transcript.

Q: How are you taking all the attention you've gotten before you've even played a down to Big Ten football?

Derrell Johnson: I'm not taking it at all, actually. I'm trying to stay focused on having an impact on the team this year, any way I can. I'm no better than anybody else on this team, and that goes for every player. We work as one, as a unit. No one player can do it himself. Some players get in the spotlight for certain reasons, hype, this and that. That doesn't matter. Once we play on the field on Saturdays, what happens then is what counts. Everything that's said, things you believe, nothing really counts until you get out there on Saturday.

Q: Whenever Kirk is asked about you, he mentions you're still learning the WR position. What is the hardest thing you're coming up against right now in learning that spot?

Johnson: You're always trying to advance your techniques, this and that, from the first day you get here to the last day you finish. Right now, I feel like I'm comfortable enough to perform at this level. Right now, it's just a matter of getting the opportunity.

Q: Where do you see yourself getting that opportunity this year, punt returns, kick returns?

Johnson: I think right now, I'm going to have a chance on special teams and kick return and punt. I need to maybe have an impact and get into the rotation on offense as the season goes on.

Q: Your punt return skills are obviously there, but have you ever played special teams coverage?

Johnson: In high school I haven't, and so far in college, this'll be my first year. Right now, I'm taking pride in the fact that I'll have a chance to be on the punt team and be a return man.

Q: When you're learning from some of these guys coming in, not a lot of older receivers here, how do the young guys surround each other and help each other out? Is it that communal, bringing everyone up as a group?

Johnson: It's an understood fact that we're all competing for the same job, but you have realize we're a corp. We want to see each other do well, so in order for us as receivers to perform well, we've got challenge each other, compete against each other, so that our standings, as opposed to the other team's receiving corps, we outdo that. We compete against each other and make each other better. Everybody understands. We don't need to fight or bicker or argue about what's going to happen, you just go out, every day, and you can't take a day off. You're competing for the same position, but at the end of the day, we're still friends.

Q: A lot of Ohio guys out here, is that almost a second family out here, getting you comfortable on campus earlier last year than if you were coming in without a lot of guys you knew before?

Johnson: It's cool to see a large group of Ohio kids out here. I like to see that, and I feel that the coaches do a good job of recruiting that area. We have some quality players from Ohio. I feel great playing with the guys I'm playing with.

Q: Out here, 90 degrees, the humidity, do you see looks on true freshmen faces like they're not quite sure what they go into?

Johnson: You see that every year, even my class had it last year. You come out here and you really don't know what to expect. You get a bit of exposure in summer workouts, but as far as summer camp, it's a different element of practice. It's so fast, you've got to keep up, you're seeing a lot of new things, you're being exposed to a whole different speed of the game. At first, it'd a bit overwhelming, it would be for anyone. Making the transition from each level. After a while, you just have to find your place, you've got to understand how to be a part of a team, the camaraderie is takes. No one player is going to come in and take over the team. It's the ultimate team sport.


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