At 12 years old, Michigan native Samuel Johnson III has the mechanics and build of a high school football player. The 6th grader at O.W. Best Middle School stands at 5’10” and 130 pounds and has the arm strength and accuracy of a high school quarterback.
Johnson has been training with Quarterback University coach Donovan Dooley since he was 10 years old and he started playing football four years ago.
It isn’t often that you come across a 12-year old of his size and talent under center, so we took the time to speak with SJ3 and find out what the secret to his success is. Here’s our brief interview:
All-Out Blitz: Okay, first off when did you start playing and what got you into football?
Samuel Johnson III: I started playing four years ago. My dad and I started playing catch in the yard and I pretty much knew that I was a football player soon after that.
AOB: What is a typical workout like for you? Are there certain things you work on more than others?
SJ3: I work out about three hours a day, everyday. I mostly work on my footwork and passing, but also do a little bit of weightlifting.
AOB: What do you think is the strongest part of your game?
SJ3: The strongest part of my game is I think my footwork. Also my arm, I can throw (accurately) about 50 yards down the field.
AOB: Quarterback is the toughest position on the field. What do you find most difficult about playing QB?
SJ3: I think the most difficult part is taking a hit and being able to get back up and getting back to the huddle with your team.
AOB: Do you have a favorite football memory?
SJ3: Yes. Last year in the semifinal playoffs, I threw a 50-yard touchdown with three minutes left to win the game.
Johnson says he works with coach Dooley at QBU, the No. 9 ranked in quarterback training in the nation, around three days a week and his parents are very pro-active in helping him with his training.
SJ3’s little league team is the West Seven Rams of the Detroit Police Athletic League, and his goals for the upcoming season include 35 TD passes and being named an All-American. Modeling his game after Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
, SJ3’s mechanics will only get better each year.
Consistently mistaken for older than he is, Johnson’s size and arm strength has gotten him some early exposure among coaches and fellow players. He has already attended high school combines in his past, and thrown to receivers older than him. He will have a busy next couple of months, as he has received invites to Football University on June 7-9 and an Offense-Defense football camp on June 17-19. He received the invites just a week after attending the D-1 Sports Training Army All-American Combine one month ago.
Johnson runs a 5.87 forty yard dash, a 5.42 shuttle run and a 9.0 cone drill. His vertical jump is 9’46 and a 6’6 broad jump, all impressive numbers for a 12-year old sixth grade quarterback with four years under his belt.
Johnson was fortunate enough to spend some time with the New York Giants’ second round draft pick, Johnathan Hankins, this past weekend. Hankins, the Ohio State defensive tackle, is a Detroit-native himself and also played his youth football in the Detroit Police Athletic League.
Though he’s currently only 12 years old, there’s no question that we could be watching a star on the rise if Samuel Johnson can keep up his growth and training, while maturing through middle school and high school. With a 3.86 GPA and a cannon arm, it would be in your best interest to remember the name Samuel Johnson III. He could find his way onto our television sets one day.
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You can follow Samuel Johnson on Twitter: @SJ3_theFuture
Note: We do not own the above images. They were sent to us via email by Sam’s parents.
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