Senior Linebacker Jake Johnson Wants To Earn Respect

July 18, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

South Alabama senior linebacker Jake Johnson was not named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team during Monday’s Media Day. No Jaguar was in fact. But if any Jaguar should have been included, he should have been. But the media, who votes on this, have not had exposure to what Johnson has done as a Jaguar.

But they will this season. Jake isn’t concerned about being left off the list, but will be added motivation for this season.

Johnson led the team with 83 tackles in 10 games and was second on the team in tackles for loss in his first season as a starter. In 2010, he was on the second team behind starters Justin Dunn and Charlie Higgenbotham.

This season Johnson’s leadership will be called upon as much as his performance. At Virginia Tech in 2009, Johnson led the Hokies with 13 total tackles, nine of them solo, against Alabama in the season-opener. “I’m not so sure they are going to ask for advice,” Johnson said of his teammates. “I don’t think any college player wants to ask, like a little kid. But what I try to do is, when we watch film and things like that, I may see something that they won’t see.” Johnson has great intelligence, knowledge and instincts both on and off the football field. He doesn’t need outside incentives to improve, he is driven naturally to be the best.

He has big goals for the season. “I want to be first-team All-Sun Belt. I want to be the Sun Belt defensive player of the year,” Johnson said. “That’s what I want and that’s my goal and that’s what I’m shooting for, and I think I have the potential to do it.”

Johnson also mentioned that the Jags have a different, better attitude this year. They have been working with the goal of individual improvement and collective improvement has they prepare for a season of tests that this team has never seen before.

If the Jags want respect, they will have to earn it on the field as they did not receive any at Media Day. They were voted last in the preseason coaches poll and no Jaguar was named to the preseason All-SBC team. They will have their chances though, the Jags will play 13 games in 14 weeks this season with what Coach Jones is calling their ‘Bowl Game’ on December 1 when they travel to Hawaii.

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