[Premium article] Rashad Johnson played running back/linebacker for Northside High School in Warner Robbins, Georgia.<P> Here is my January 9, 2002 interview with Rashad.

Tell me about yourself. You are a running back/linebacker, aren't you?
"Yes sir."

What is your actual height, weight and forty speed?
"I am 6', 204, and I run a 4.6."

Describe what kind of player you are?
"Basically, I love football. That is my life. I don't know what I would do without it. I just go out there and make plays. That is why I am on the field. I just try to get out there and do the best I can."

Do you know what your stats were this past season?
"I'm not really sure. I do know that I was the leading tackler and was tied for interceptions with 5."

You had 5 interceptions as a linebacker? That is unusual for a linebacker. You must have covered a lot of receivers?
"Not really, when they came across the middle, I was there waiting."

Did you play middle or outside linebacker?

How did your team do this past season?
"We went all the way to State and lost."

What was your final record?
"It was either 13-1 or 14-1. I know that we just lost one."

Did you lose the state championship game?
"Yes, we lost to Clarkville, 12 to 7. We could have won it but the lights went off. Their players go both ways and they were tired (prior to the lights going out), but got their energy back. We also had two crucial fumbles on punt returns."

That was a tough way to lose, wasn't it?
"Yes sir, it hurt."

Switching over to recruiting, I've heard that you are going to be visiting Mississippi State. Is that correct?
"Yes sir."

When are you going to be visiting?
"The 25th, 26th and 27th (of January)."

When did Mississippi State actively start recruiting you?
"I believe the first time that I talked to Coach Tompkins was in either October or November."

What are your impressions of Coach Tompkins from talking to him on the phone?
"He seems to be a pretty nice guy. He seems to want to do whatever it takes to win. I hope to get to know him better and get to play for him."

What other schools have shown interest in you, so far?
"Middle Tennessee, Louisville, Georgia Tech and several other schools such as Minnesota, Northwestern and Kansas."

Which schools have offered you a scholarship?
"Middle Tennessee, Louisville and Kansas."

Which schools, other than Mississippi State, are you visiting?
"I am supposed to be going to Mars Hill College (in North Carolina) the first of February and I might be going to Florida State too, although I'm not sure about that."

What is it about Mississippi State that caused you to have interest in them?
"Basically, I like their defense. I have been liking them since I was in middle school."

How have you seen them, from television?
"Yes sir."

What position are they recruiting you for?
"Dog safety."

What is your feeling about Mississippi State compared to the other schools that you are considering?
"Basically, that is where I want to go. That is where I have been wanting to go. Now that I've gotten the opportunity, I think that is where I am going to go."

Have they offered a scholarship or do you believe they will wait and do that when you officially visit?
"I think they are going to wait until I visit."

Are any of your teammates visiting with you?
"Yes sir, Nick (Brooks) and Roger (Williams) are also visiting at the same time."

If you don't mind, how about telling me what schools are showing interest in them?
"Roger is receiving attention from the same schools as me. Roger and I are going to try and go together. He plays strong safety. He wants to go to Mississippi State also. I'm not sure what Nick is going to do. He is looking at Florida, LSU, Wake Forest, Georgia, and Georgia Tech. He is a very good cornerback."

All three of you are D-I prospects and played on the defensive side of the ball. I bet your team had a really good defense.
"Yes sir, we did. Our defense was number one in our region. We always have a pretty good defense."

I've really enjoyed interviewing you. You have really handled it well, probably better than I would have.

Thanks a lot, Rashad.
"I appreciate it, man."

[I really enjoyed talking to Rashad. He handled himself extremely well during the interview. He was very relaxed and almost seemed like a pro answering the questions. - Gene]

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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