George Johnson: An End With The Means
George Johnson
George Johnson

Posted Apr 7, 2009


George Johnson not only has the means to get it done at defensive end for the Scarlet Knights but has been doing it since his freshman year – he’s been in the starting lineup since then. The veteran defensive lineman returns for his senior season having started in all 13 games last season and having finished the campaign with 39 tackles, including 10 for a loss.

Johnson is poised to assume a leadership role this coming season on the defensive side of the ball for Rutgers. With experienced and talented players Jamaal Westerman and Pete Tverdov having graduated, the Rutgers defensive line will look to Johnson’s leadership to play a key role this upcoming season.

On his expanded leadership role Johnson says he is ready to accept that responsibility and is looking forward to it.

“Its (providing leadership) something I do on a daily basis, because coach wants us (veteran players) to take over instead of the coaches having to do all the little things when they could just worry about coaching,” said Johnson.

How does one lead, specifically?

“By being vocal, by one’s actions and character. You can’t lead by (only) one,” Johnson stated. “Showing good character off the field in the community is important, it show’s what we are really about at Rutgers.”

Coach Schiano agreed that Johnson has been doing the right things in assuming that leadership position.

"I think for us to be the best we can be, he needs to be a leader on our football team.

"Lead by his production and by the way he lives his life. And he's been doing that." Schiano said.

Johnson finds the younger players are accepting the advice from the veteran players. He is also happy with their eagerness to seek out and learn from the older players.

“The younger guys are looking up to the leaders, they’re coming to us for advice, they’re a lot more focused and that actually makes our job easier.”

Alex Silvestro returns opposite Johnson on the other end of the defensive line and is the only other defensive lineman to start in all 13 games this past season. Johnson shared his thoughts on his teammates’ playmaking abilities.

“We’ve been watching a lot of film. He’s(Silvestro) been doing a real good job and he’s comparable to Jamaal Westerman, the way they play, it’s similar. It feels like we’re not missing anything at the defensive end spot.”

Johnson, always looking to improve upon his play, spoke about that as well.

“I want to improve on my pass rush techniques and get the little things down so I can be a better pass rusher.

“I want to also work on being more of a leader because I know I still have some things I need to do to help out the team.”



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