Alabama Football: Rashad Johnson Looks to End Unthinkable Career on High Note
Next time you get a chance, go over to Rivals.com and search for the name Rashad Johnson in the year 2004.
When you get no results, don't blame the site—it's because Johnson doesn't have a player profile on Rivals.com. Same for Scout.com.
Despite what those sites say, Rashad Johnson does exist.
The Alabama senior walked on to the Crimson Tide football team under then-coach Mike Shula in 2004 and was just happy to make the team.
Now he is entering his final season not only with a scholarship, but with reigning first team All-SEC honors, plus team captain duties as elected by his teammates.
When Johnson came to Tuscaloosa, he was a running back out of Sulligent, Alabama, a small town about an hour from Jasper and home to a tiny 1-A high school.
After a redshirt season, Johnson made the move to defense in 2005, but saw no action short of special teams work.
In 2006, Johnson finally got a chance to start four times, but still saw limited action at safety.
After a coaching change and a tireless spring, Johnson earned a starting job in the defensive secondary, and he didn't disappoint in his junior campaign.
Johnson turned in a memorable season, picking off six passes, good enough to tie for the conference lead and 10th nationally. He was the team leader in tackles last season, including a team-high 13 in the bowl win over Colorado.
With all his hard work, Johnson left a mark on his coaches, opposing coaches, and his teammates.
During the season, Johnson garnered five Defensive Player of the Week honors from the coaches. After his breakout season, Johnson racked up a first team All-SEC selection from the coaches, and, more impressively, was selected as a team captain by his teammates.
By being selected a team captain, Johnson had the honor of placing his hands and cleats in cement around Denny Chimes along with all the other team captains since the '50s. Johnson's name is now in the company of many Alabama Football legends.
In 2008, Johnson looks to lead a defensive secondary which has lost some starters from last season. Even though that may be a problem, Johnson still figures to factor into opponents' game plans and will be a constant threat to quarterbacks under pressure.
It also doesn't hurt to have reigning All-SEC safety attached to your name.
Entering his senior season, Johnson may have been the only one who could have pictured himself getting this far. It is quite obvious that no one else could have pictured this scenario back in 2004.
Even though 'Bama didn't originally want Johnson, the Crimson Tide wouldn't know what to do without him now.
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