On The Block: Isaiah Johnson

By Charlie Drafts 03/20/2016 | charlie@blockcblog.com

Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Johnson came to South Carolina just when we needed him the most.  The All-Big 12 Kansas transfer was looking for a place closer to home and a place that he could come in and contribute right away. You could say it was a perfect position at the start of the last season for Isaiah Johnson.

Unfortunately, we all know how the 2015 season played out.

Although, the season was an absolute disappointment and huge step in the wrong direction, there were a few bright spots on the defensive side of the ball on last years team. I think that Isaiah Johnson was one of those bright spots.  He finished second on the team in tackles and always gave everything he had no matter what the coach, record or score was at the time.

Isaiah Johnson chose to come to South Carolina and play his final year of college football and now he has his sights set on the NFL.  I truly believe that he will have an impressive Pro Day and will garner the attention of quite a few NFL teams that will ultimately lead to him getting picked up by a team.  He has been successful everywhere he has been and has the talent, resume, mentality and toughness that bodes well at the next level.

We wish Isaiah Johnson nothing but the best and look forward to following his career at the next level.  Even though most of his time was spent at Kansas, he will always be a Gamecock. We caught up with him in this latest edition of On The Block.

BCB: You’ve had a chance to play in the Big 12 and the SEC, in your opinion what are the biggest difference between the two conferences?

IJ: The two biggest differences between the conferences are the pace and tempo that is played. I also feel like it's a lot more of a physical game in the SEC, but a lot more of an endurance game in the Big 12.

BCB: Take us back to your first meeting with Coach Spurrier, what was that meeting like and what ultimately led to your decision to transfer and choose South Carolina to play football?

IJ: My first meeting of Coach Spurrier was great. When we met we got a chance to talk about Cary, NC, where I live because he used to coach at Duke and he talked about being in Cary a lot. The decision that ultimately led me to SC was where I could come in and be an impact right away on and off the field.

BCB: What is that one particular play or moment during your short time at South Carolina that you’ll always remember and why?

IJ: One particular play that I will always remember was getting that interception right before halftime vs Tennesee because my friends would always joke with me about how I could have batted the ball down, but I intercepted it instead.

BCB: Will you be attending the South Carolina Pro-Day and where are you training and what are you doing to help prepare for the NFL draft?

IJ: Yes, I will be attending and I am training in Orlando, FL. I am working on a lot to better myself mentally and physically such as changing my diet, using yoga and meditation. I'm trying to build as many healthy habits as I can to be great.

BCB: Have you had a chance to reach out to any current or former Kansas or South Carolina NFL players for advice on getting ready for the NFL? 

IJ: Yes, I have had a chance to reach out to my friends and former Kansas players and South Carolina. They told me it's a business so make sure I come in physically and mentally prepared.

BCB: What’s the craziest or funniest thing you’ve ever seen or heard on the field during your time playing college football?

IJ: The craziest thing I've seen on the football field was when we played against LSU and the running back #5 (Derrius Guice) broke about 7 of our tackles and kept going until we eventually got him down. The craziest thing I've ever heard was a referee curse out a player.

The LSU play, in case you love depression: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:13854457

BCB: What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to incoming freshmen playing football at South Carolina this year? 

IJ: The biggest piece of advice I would give to an incoming freshman is to make sure you stay on top of your nutrition and your schedule they give you. Don't ever get lazy and always push yourself to being great everyday.

BCB: Who on this current South Carolina team do you see stepping out as leaders on defense next season under the new coaching staff and system?

IJ: I saw a lot of good young leaders last year, but I would have to give it to Toure Boyd because I saw his work ethic and leadership skills practicing with him everyday. He would always push me to be the best I could be as well.

BCB: What’s something you’d like to say to all of Gamecock Nation?

IJ: I would like to say that I loved my five months playing in Columbia and I know this new team is going to give them what they want this season. I will always be grateful to call myself a Gamecock and hope they enjoyed my time.

By Charlie Drafts 03/20/2016