Johnson Focused on Future

Prized running back recruit Justin Johnson has been spending his offseason working to become a more impressive physical specimen and is about to take a trip and join teammate Ben Habern in Atlanta, Ga., at Competitive Edge Sports Training. Before he left we spoke to him about the recent allegations surrounding the Oklahoma program and how he feels about the punishment given out.

Justin Johnson originally turned Ben Habern onto the idea of working out with Chip Smith at Competitive Edge Sports over the summer and is leaving shortly to join his future Sooner teammate in Atlanta for the next three weeks or so. As one of the most highly sought after running backs in the nation, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound ball carrier has seen the ugly side of recruiting in college football first hand and shows the maturity of a grown man when it comes to handling those situations.

"In my opinion one of the most important things you can do as a player and a person is represent yourself and your university in the best light, so the situation is obviously unfortunate," Johnson stated. "As a recruit you have to make sure you don't put yourself in harm's way because there are many outside factors that can be distractions that you just cannot allow yourself to be caught up in. One of the things I have made sure to do is keep myself out of those types of situations and focus on the important things like the future I have ahead of me at Oklahoma."

"As for the recent decision by the NCAA, everyone knew it was coming, so at this point we as a team need to make sure it never happens again and just move on and do things the right way in Norman," Johnson added. "It seems like I have known Coach (Cale) Gundy forever now and Oklahoma is definitely where I want to spend the next several years of my life. Norman is home to me and this recent situation has no effect on my decision to be a Sooner. I do not agree that the actions of two or three players should have affected an entire team that worked so hard for their achievements in 2005, so I think wiping out that season was a bit much, but I do understand the other part of the punishment. If I were one of the 80 or so other players who worked so hard for all the wins Oklahoma had that season I wouldn't be very pleased about the actions of a few players on the team and I just don't see it as fair to punish everyone for their actions."

The Gilmer, Texas product was packing his things for his trip to Atlanta as we were conducting our interview with him and talked a bit about the work he has been doing this summer as well as what he hopes to accomplish over the next several weeks.

"I will probably stay down there for about three weeks and am just going to jump right into the regiment when I get there," Johnson explained. "The focus for me is improving my overall speed and agility while I am there and also put on some extra weight as I plan to be at 215 pounds by the start of the season. I have been working this summer mostly, but have also spent the rest of my time focused on increasing my core strength and adding good weight. I think I can make a lot of improvements physically before I get to Norman and am just making sure to take care of business and work hard towards those goals I have set for myself."

Johnson carried the ball 76 times for 1100 yards and 26 touchdowns on his way to earning first-team All-State honors as a junior for Gilmer High School.

As a sophomore Johnson rushed for nearly 800 yards on 91 carries and eight touchdowns and added another 185 yards and a touchdown receiving. On defense, Johnson collected 36 tackles, made 12 stops behind the line of scrimmage and added six sacks. He also intercepted a pass and was named Sophomore of the Year as well as Newcomer of the Year for his region.

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