Becoming a Razorback a dream come true for Johnson

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Linebacker Jaylin Johnson will be fulfilling a dream when he steps on the field at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in the fall.
Linebacker Jaylin Johnson will be fulfilling a dream when he steps on the field at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in the fall.

Forrest City linebacker Jaylin Johnson grew up wanting to play for Arkansas and now he’ll get that chance in the fall after deciding to walk on.

Johnson, 5-11, 205, 4.67 seconds in the 40, had scholarship offers from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Arkansas Tech, Alabama A&M and Ouachita Baptist before deciding on the Razorbacks. Video highlights CLICK HERE

“I’ve always have been a fan since I was little,” Johnson said. “I played a Little League team that was called the Razorbacks.”

Johnson, who had 107 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and an interception this past season, will be the third Mustang on the Arkansas roster along with defensive back Davyon ‘Sleepy’ McKinney and defensive end Tevin Beanum. .

“I love the atmosphere up there and I just wanted always be a part of the Razorbacks,” Johnson said. “I want to think Tevin could be because he help me out through all of my recruiting. When I went up there I just felt like I was at home. They treated me like I was already a part of the team.”

He said he’ll rely on Beanum and McKinney while getting ready for next season.

“I feel like I have a lot to gain, but also feel like I could lose it all,” said Johnson, who has a 3.65 grade-point average. “I just have to stay focused and keep my mind in check and set my goals high.”

Johnson appreciated how tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. was upfront with him and laid out the Hogs’ plans for him under the eye of senior associate head coach and linebackers coach Randy Shannon.

“He told me Coach Shannon liked my film,” Johnson said. “He said coach Shannon didn’t care about size, speed or height, he just cares if you give maximum effort. He said they would probably try me on the other side of the ball as a fullback.”

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