Coming all the way from the small town of Sweeny, Texas, Shedrick Johnson knew early on he wanted to play football for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
“I wanted to get out of the state of Texas and just be able to play in a great conference,” Johnson said. “I got the opportunity and I decided to run with it.”
Though Johnson misses playing football at Sweeny High School, with his family and friends cheering him on at every game, he wouldn’t change his football career for the world.
For each game, Johnson puts on his No. 17 jersey and prepares extensively. Throughout the season Johnson trains for each game by “being totally focused, watching film over and over again, and not thinking about anything [but football].”
Playing in the conference that is arguably the most dominant in football would not be an easy job, but for Johnson he knows, “it’s going to bring the best out of you in every game, week in and week out, so you know that you have to come with your head in the game. They are going to get our best and we are going to get their best.”
When Johnson is not on the practice field or attending classes, he is always with his pride and joy, his two-year-old daughter. But when he does get an opportunity or two, he likes to enjoy time with his teammates. “Just hanging around the football team, especially in the locker room and the conversations that go around, and being with them on the football field,” Johnson said.
There is one game in particular that will always be unforgettable to Shedrick.
“Playing against Auburn my sophomore year, because of the group of guys I had playing around me, and there are a few plays I made in that game that stand out,” Johnson said of the 27-10 win over the No. 2-ranked Tigers.
Though it may seem as if there is nothing more important than playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks, there are many decisions players and students face during their senior year. Being from Sweeny, which is located south of Houston and quite a ways away from Fayetteville, Johnson is still undecided about what his plans are after graduation.
“After I graduate, there are several options that I could do,” Johnson said. “I could go back to Sweeny or I could stay here and work on my master’s. I haven’t figured it out just yet.”
Though Johnson hasn’t exactly planned out his future after he graduates, he has started thinking about this week’s game against Alabama.
“I am excited to play against Alabama, or whoever we play,” said the sociology major. “I am excited just to get out and play.”
Last year, Johnson played 28 snaps against Alabama. He made one solo tackle and broke up a John Parker Wilson pass.
“Week in and week out,” are words used repeatedly by the three-year letterman. The time and effort Johnson puts into practicing, playing each game, his studies and especially his family, is evidence of his dedication to everything that is important to him in life.