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August 17, 2009Nobody covers Texas Tech's fall camp like RedRaiderSports.com. We will have double-barreled analysis, reactions, photos and video from every single practice leading up to the Red Raiders' season opener. To get your free trial membership started today, click here.
The beginning of fall camp also signifies the official arrival of Texas Tech's 2009 signees, one of the most heralded signing classes in the program's history. In recognition of this fact, we will focus on a new freshman every day through the end of fall camp.
Up next? Cornerback D.J. Johnson out of Austin (TX) St. Stephen's. Through the first week and a half of preseason workouts, Johnson has been one of the most impressive true freshman performers and could work his way into the rotation this season.
HOW HAVE YOUR FIRST FEW DAYS OF PRACTICE GONE?
"It started off slow, I didn't expect it. I didn't know what the tempo was going to be like. First day in pads, I didn't know how hard people hit. I was a little anxious about it and my head wasn't really screwed on too tight. I was thinking about too many things at too many different times, worry about one thing or another. Now, I'm becoming more relaxed and it's getting a lot easier just come more relaxed and play, and do what I do and not really paying attention to other things."
WHERE DOES COACH MITCHELL HAVE YOU LINING UP?
"At left corner right now."
HOW HAVE THE OLDER GUYS AT CORNER HELPED YOU?
"Everybody, they've all played a part in it. The only thing is that [Jamar] Wall and the other cornerbacks teach you things, but you have to put your own little twist into it. So it's like, 'We'll give you the basics, the things that you need to succeed but, you got to throw your own little twist into it to make if feel comfortable for you.' What I do may not feel comfortable, but I mean everybody that's on the team is helping me out tremendously."
LOOKING BACK, WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM YOUR HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL CAREER?
"Being able to touch the ball, make plays happen. "
DO YOU HAVE A PREGAME RITUAL?
"Not really, just listen to music, that's about it."
DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME?
"D.J., just D.J. Yeah, well at my old school they used to call me 10, or 'The D.J. Johnson,' and they would like emphasize the 'the'"
DURING THE RECRUITING PROCESS, WHAT PARTS OF THE PROGRAM WERE YOU THE MOST IMPRESSED WITH?
"Well, it was one statement that [Mike] Leach was talking about, about how you want to be remembered, that was one thing that really attracted me on my part. Then the family, how much the team is a family."
IS THERE ANY SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE OR STORY BEHIND YOUR CHOICE OF JERSEY NUMBER (12)?
"I mean, at first I was worried about the number, but now it's just, it's you know, I'm not really worried about the number, I just got to make plays and you know make stuff happen with whatever I get."
WHO IS THE FUNNIEST GUY IN YOUR SIGNING CLASS?
"In the signing class, either Daniel Cobb, or Terrance Bullitt, yeah, they're on another level, cause Cobb you know, he just has no sense, he tells jokes and if nobody thinks they are funny, he'll just laugh at them himself. Then Terrance is just always clowning."
WHAT'S YOUR STRONGEST ATTRIBUTE AS A PLAYER?
"Being able to move, my agility, being able to stop on a dime and things like that. I haven't really been able to do it out of a back peddle, but I'm getting better at it as the days go on, so that's pretty much it."
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO WORK ON THE MOST DURING FALL CAMP?
"What I really want to work on? My strength, and just my burst, my speed burst is not as powerful coming off on defense. Like offense, I can stop on a dime and break full speed, but it's like if I plant, I got to take a big step to get to going, you know. So, just working on that quick step."
HAVE YOU NOTICED ANY PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES OR CHANGES AFTER SPENDING THE SUMMER GOING THROUGH THE OFFSEASON PROGRAM WITH BENNIE?
"Oh yeah, my weight really hasn't gone up, but my strength and my physical appearance has gone up, so my body mass has increased and everything."
WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF THE SUMMER FOR YOU?
"I caught an interception against "Sticks" (Steven Sheffield), they had been practicing this route on us and everything and they were trying to do a fade and stop, so [Tramain] Swindall broke on the fade and stopped, and when he stopped I jumped in the air with him and snagged it out of the air, and everyone was just like, 'Oh, that never happens.' That was the most memorable moment for me."
HOW HAS YOUR ADJUSTMENT TO LIFE IN LUBBOCK BEEN SO FAR?
"It's pretty good, sometimes it's hard cause sometimes you just want to get back to the house just for a little bit, and get some of Mom's cooking or just be around old friends for a little bit. After you are home for two or three days, you're just like ready to come back because of the football playing and the atmosphere."
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN TOWN?
"Papa John's, that's pretty much the only place that I really eat. Oh, Cane's. Spankies is good, but Cane's, I almost forgot Cane's. Yeah, that sauce is amazing."
HAVE YOU DECIDED ON A MAJOR?
"Exercise Sports Sciences"
WHAT CLASS ARE YOU LEAST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS FALL?
"Any class that's sit down and listen to the teacher talk for an hour, I don't like that, I got to be able to learn by doing something, be active, have us act this out, or do this, or this is what you doing, or either stay at home and watch this, something that's time consuming, but not boring."