Insider Exclusive: Q&A With Dionte Johnson

AZRedReport.com's Dusty Wittig continues his interview with Cardinal's fullback Dionte Johnson, this time for Insiders only. The standout fullback talks about his family's legacy at Ohio State, his rivalry with Iowa, Buckeye training methods, and much more…

Click here for Part I

DW: What some of your strengths that you will bring to the Cardinals?

DJ: I would have to say my physicality. I can run in there and not be afraid to put my hat into somebody. I have been training really hard and lost some weight and have gotten quicker because of that. I know I'm going to bring the physicality.

DW: What are some things about your game that you can improve in order to become successful in the NFL?

DJ: I can always improve on my quickness. I need to work on playing low as possible too.

DW: Your father Pepper Johnson played in the League for 13 years and is a coach for the Patriots. How has he prepared you for the NFL?

DJ: He has been a big influence. He has always been the guy behind the scenes, making sure I'm in shape and giving me advice based on what he has seen as a player and coach. He tells me that guys have come in there out of shape and have gotten cut because of it. He says to never give the team an easy reason to replace you.

DW: You and your father were the third father son tandem to both be named captains at Ohio State. Did you know you were always going to be a Buckeye growing up?

DJ: Yah, it's funny. I was always Ohio State through and through. Everything in the house was scarlet and gray and I always had my father's old Buckeye gear. Growing up in Columbus and seeing how die hard the fans were, I knew I wanted to play here. But as a high school player you still have to go through recruiting. I had to find the school that was my best fit, and my dad never pressed me. Only thing he told me was to not go to Michigan.

DW: Who was the recipient of your best hit and who has hit you the hardest?

DJ: My best hit had to be during one of our Iowa games. I would always get extra fired up to play them because everyone always thought their linebackers were better than ours. I would always tell AJ Hawk to make their fullbacks look bad and that I would make their linebackers look bad.

DW: You played in two straight national championship games. What was your favorite moment from those seasons?

DJ: Last season's Big 10 Title Game versus Michigan was a great moment. It was a great game that went back in forth. We had chances to put it away but being the great team they are, they kept fighting back. But we ended up winning and secured our spot in the BCS National Championship.

DW: Nobody picked you guys to have the season you did last year going 11-1 and reaching the BCS National Championship game. How did it feel to quiet all of those doubters?

DJ: It felt good, but that's what got us there. We had to prove it to ourselves. We knew what he had in the locker room, and it was up to us to play to our potential. The most important thing about football is playing as a team. People didn't see what we had, but if you pay attention to college football, the most successful teams play together. And that is what we did.

DW: What is the best game you have ever had?

DJ: This year's Michigan game or one of the Iowa games.

DW: Buckeye strength coordinator Eric Lichter made your team participate in a drill called the sandpit. Explain what that is and why it's so hard.

DJ: It is just what it sounds like, a big sand pit right outside the football field. He goes to sleep and dreams up all these drills that have nothing to do with football, but they test your will power. That's what makes them so good. They will get you in shape, but the main thing is that they make you push yourself and prepare you for a long hard season.

DW: As an undrafted free agent, how did it feel when you got that phone call from the Cardinals after the draft?

DJ: It felt great, because I have been in contact with them throughout the off-season and the draft process. They showed me the most interest and showed me I could come in and be a factor. They didn't make any false promises but showed me that they wanted me. It was a great feeling to hear from them first.

DW: How was your mini camp experience?

DJ: It was really good. I tried to learn as much as I could by studying the playbook. And when I got out there, I felt like I was always heading in the right direction. I like the team and the guys, and I think we have a good thing going down there.

Click here for Part I


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