Chad Johnson: Making the Natural Move

After a stellar 2003 campaign at cornerback for the Red Raiders, Chad Johnson made the move to play strong safety for Tech. After locking down receivers all last year some may wonder why Johnson would make that move. Considering that he played the position in high school, the transition is only natural for the 5'11, 195 pound sophomore.

Johnson and Red Raider fans alike are hoping that his move to safety will strengthen the position vacated by graduating senior Ryan Aycock. Johnson recently took the time to speak with us about this years' defense, and how safeties coach Carlos Mainord has helped make the transition to safety as smooth as possible.

RP: Even though you played safety in high school, does it feel like you're starting over this year after playing a year at cornerback?

CJ: "Not really, actually it feels real comfortable. I have one of the greatest safety coaches in the country right now (Carlos Mainord) and he takes time out to teach, and to put me in position to make plays. I'm blessed to have him and the rest of the coaching staff, they make my job real easy."

RP: How frustrating was it for the D to hold New Mexico to six second half points, and not come away with a win?

CJ: "We haven't really thought about it that much, when a game ends like the UNM game did, we just have to go back and focus on winning our next game."

RP: How do you feel about the depth of the safety rotation this year?

CJ: "We have four guys who our coaches have confidence in. They know whoever they sub in or out will get out there and take care of business."

RP: Do you think we could see you play some cornerback as well as safety this year?

CJ: "Not sure really, but I'll do whatever the coaches need me to do to make the defense better."

RP: What was the main thing you worked on during the summer to get ready to play safety at the Big 12 level?

CJ: "Just getting a little thicker, put on a few pounds and also became quicker from working out with Bennie."

RP: What hobbies do you have outside of football?

CJ: "Sleeping, watching T.V., spending time with my fiancé, just getting away from football."

RP: What is it like playing at home, versus playing on the road?

CJ: "The Jones" is a place that we take a lot of pride in, and we have been taught not to let anyone come in our backyard and beat us.

RP: What were your goals as a defense at the start of the year?

CJ: "To be one of the top defenses in the nation, and to make people fear us. To work hard as a unit and not act as individuals, our defense doesn't look for people to call their names, we want to have people talk about the defense as a whole."

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