Red-Shirt Review: David Johnson

Speedy red-shirt freshman cornerback David Johnson spent his red-shirt year getting better on the field and looks like he is positioning himself to be a factor in the defensive backfield in 2012.

As with Missouri's entire 2011 freshman class, CB David Johnson  5'11"  192  spent his first season at Missouri on the sidelines.  And, as a member of the scout team, he spent his weekday afternoons covering Missouri's first and second string receivers.  During December, I got to see Johnson working on the Missouri side of the football, and it was readily apparent that he has gotten better. 

Johnson has track speed and athleticism, but he looks like a natural on the corner, where he shows good toughness in addition to an ability to cover.   Johnson took time to speak to, and he talked about his first season at Missouri, and about his goals going forward.

"It was different not getting to play all year," explained Johnson, who went on to talk about some of his accomplishments in the weight room.  "I've definitely gotten a lot stronger, and a lot faster."

"We've been on the scout team, so we're a little rusty,"  began Johnson, talking about the work he was getting with the Missouri defense in early December.  "But, we're getting back into the flow.   We've gotten a chance to get after it, so it's fun!  I'm starting to get back into the rhythm of it, and I'm starting to make plays."

Johnson is surprisingly physical, especially in press coverage.  He cited improvement in his footwork as something that he's been working on, and that he needs to continue to work on.  He sounded confident about some of the improvement he's made in his footwork.

"My footwork is pretty crisp, now,"   said Johnson, who emphasized that he is quicker coming out of his breaks than he was last fall.

"Now, I need to stop looking at the quarterback.  That gets me in trouble."

Johnson said that he is looking to get bigger, stronger, and faster during the off-season winter workouts.  He's looking forward to the individual testing in the spring, and he indicated that he has his sights set on running a 4.3 forty this spring.

Johnson missed some time last fall rehabbing his knee, following an MCL injury, from which he said he is fully recovered.

"I definitely want to earn that position on the field in spring ball,"  said Johnson, who expects to begin the spring on the third-team defense.  "I'm definitely going to get after it.  I have to move up one to get on the field.  Hopefully, two though.   I've just got to make plays."

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