Johnson signs with Carson-Newman

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   MOUNTAIN CITY- Johnson County High School was Adam Johnson's stage on Wednesday.
   Johnson put the exclamation point on an excellent football career in Mountain City yesterday by signing a letter of intent to play football at Division II Carson-Newman College.
   Johnson played a wide variety of positions on the Longhorn football team during his four years at JCHS, including defensive back and tailback.
   But for most of the last two years, Johnson did most of his damage at quarterback, where he will go down as one of Johnson County's greatest to ever play that position.
   According to Johnson, quarterback is where the Carson Newman coaching staff likes him.
   "They recruited me as a quarterback," he said. "They start summer workouts in the middle of June, and they run through the end of July. I'm going to go down there and do that this summer, and learn the offense as a quarterback. Once you learn the offense, you will have equal opportunity to play with the other guys. But learning the offense is the main key. I'm going to play quarterback at Carson-Newman more than likely."
   Johnson had interest from other schools, including Appalachian State and Emory & Henry, but he really liked the educational opportunities and the Christian atmosphere Carson-Newman gives students.
   "What I look for in a school is a good Christian school and a liberal arts school, because they have a wide variety of majors that you can choose from," Johnson said. "The football program also is a key. Carson-Newman is a good Christian school, they are a liberal arts school with a lot of different studies that you can do, and they have a great football program.
   "There was just something about Carson-Newman. I prayed about it, and stuff like that, and something was just telling me that was the school for me."
   Johnson will not only be joining local standouts like Steven Trivette and Forrest Holt on the Eagle roster, but will also come into a program that has had national success at the Division II level.
   That success helped sway Johnson to the Jefferson City School.
   "As a recruit, that's kind of what you're looking for," Johnson said about the school's winning tradition. "You're looking for a school that has a good background in the football program, and is consistent with their football program. That's what everybody wants, a good football program to go into. I hope I can do what I can to contribute and keep the winning tradition."
   Johnson joins a recent barrage of Longhorn athletes to play sports at the collegiate level, including ETSU football player Adam Cranford.
   With Johnson becoming the second Johnson County football player to play major college football in just a couple years, Longhorn head football coach Mike Atwood is extremely proud.
   "That's what you try to do is get kids to play at the next level, and hopefully get an education," Atwood said. "To go to a place like Carson-Newman is as good as you can hope for this side of Knoxville I think.
   That's the best chance to win a national championship, and a good chance for a good education. We're just real proud of all our boys that go on to school."
   Johnson has achieved many things other than gridiron accomplishments.
   Johnson is in the top ten of his senior class, is in the National Honor Society, and was recently named WJHL Scholar Athlete of the week.
   Johnson is also an active member of the Roan Creek Baptist Church, and has worked in the church as a Team Kid leader for younger children on Wednesday nights for two years.
   Johnson also plays basketball and baseball for the Longhorns.
   "Not only on the field, but in the weight room and in the classroom, he's been a leader in every aspect," Atwood said. "He led our offense and would have led our defense if we had let him play more, but we were trying to keep him healthy. We feel like he had a good career, and we feel like he will be successful in college."
   Adam has also made parents Mike and Ginger Johnson very proud of him for his work on the field and in the classroom.
   "We're very proud of Adam," Mike Johnson said. "He's overcome a lot through the years, not only on the football field. He's worked very hard in school. He's very active in church, which we're very proud of that.
   Everything he's accomplished he's earned every bit of it. He's really worked hard, and he knows what his goals are."
   As Adam Johnson gets ready to take this next step in his life, he knows what he has to do to be successful in life and is also grateful to the people that have put him in this position.
   "Your priorities are the main key," he said. I give thanks to a lot of people, my coaches, my family and the Lord, for giving me the opportunity to do what I have done."