The next player in our prospect interview series is Texas Tech Safety Jah’Shawn Johnson. Johnson was a productive four year starter for Texas Tech and a two-time Team Captain in his final two years.
Career Stats: 312 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, 6 interceptions, 17 pass deflections, and 6 forced fumbles.
Johnson interviewed exclusively with Stampede Blue to talk about his college career, his father’s impact on his career, and how he will translate to the NFL.
ZM: You had a pretty productive high school career, why did you end up choosing Texas Tech over other schools you were considering?
JJ: I went to my visit and it just felt like home. I gelled with the coaches really well and coach Kingsbury is one of the most genuine guys I know. I went to a game and the atmosphere was crazy and I just dreamed of myself playing in such an atmosphere and everything just felt right. That’s why I chose it and I’m happy I did.
ZM: Your father (Keith Davis) played in the NFL for the Cowboys (2002-2008), how has he helped you in this process as you prepare for the next step?
JJ: He’s helped a lot. Just trying to keep me on the right path, telling me to make sure I do this and that. (Telling me) To keep my weight up and just getting in there and training as hard as I can and having a productive pro day. Basically just letting everything take care of itself. Making sure that I put myself in the best position possible to be able to play at the next level. He has helped out a tremendous amount and I’m very grateful for him.
ZM: You were a team captain at Texas Tech your final two seasons, what does it mean to be honored with that title for your team?
JJ: It’s a huge honor just to see how much the guys respect me and respect what I do on and off the field. I took that very serious, being a role model for the younger guys and trying to do everything right. I wore the “C” on my chest with a lot of pride.
ZM: So you played in the College Gridiron Showcase this offseason. It’s not the Senior Bowl or the Shrine Game but what did it mean to play in a postseason bowl game?
JJ: It means a lot just being able to go down there and showcase myself against other guys who have the same dreams and the same goals. It was a fun week just going out there and competing everyday. I didn’t actually play in the scrimmage/game that we had, I tweaked my groin a little bit, but just going out there and competing with those guys all week was a lot of fun and I’m glad I got to experience it.
ZM: Started 49 games in your college career for Texas Tech, do you think that experience helps you translate to the Pros?
JJ: I believe so. Like you said, I have a lot of playing experience under my belt, I’ve been playing the same position for just about ever so I think I have a natural ability and natural instincts at this position. I think that just about anyone I can get around can help me elevate my game and do great things in the next level.
ZM: Where do you think your best fit is in the NFL (position wise)?
JJ: I’m not sure. I actually like being all over. I moved around a lot in college, we kinda just played left and right so we both had to be able to cover the post and drop down in the box which I was proud of. I like being a part of the run game and making a lot of contact so I don’t know what my best fit is but I definitely like both of them.
ZM: A big part of your game is speed. The NFL is so fast nowadays with players like TY Hilton and Tyreek Hill. Do you think your speed makes the transition to the NFL easier?
JJ: I wouldn’t say easier...but I think it helps. Definitely helps a lot. The transition is hard for just about anyone going up against these kind of cats everyday. That’ll be hard for just about everyone but like I said it definitely helps to be on the good end of the speed side (laughs).
ZM: Doing a bit of self scouting, where do you think you need to improve most going into the NFL?
JJ: My hands. I dropped a couple picks this year that I wasn’t proud of and those are huge plays in any game so I need to capitalize on all of my opportunities. Just getting bigger, stronger, faster like always. That’s going to help going against 230 pound running backs every week. Just my overall game too, from footwork to everything man. There’s always room for improvement everywhere so I’m excited for this challenge and I’m going to take it day by day.
ZM: What do you think is your best trait going into the NFL?
JJ: My natural instincts. Like I said, I’ve been playing the same position for a while and I’ve seen just about everything that they can throw at us. My natural instincts and my dad playing the position, I’ve learned a lot from him, and I’ve had some great coaches along the way that have helped me out and helped me get a step ahead of some other people that I’m going up against.
ZM: Which NFL Safety do you compare yourself best to? Whose game do you model yourself after?
JJ: Earl Thomas and Tyrann Mathieu. Watching them just about since everyone else has heard about them, I’ve been watching them and modeling my game after them. Kind of smaller guys but they stick their nose in there and are physical. Earl Thomas’ range is second to none so I just try to mimic my game off of those two guys. Of course my dad too (laughs). I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t put him in this. He was one of those physical guys who I liked to look at and he would come downhill and strike you pretty good. I just try to put all those three together and do the best I can with that.
ZM: Which is better; crushing a ball carrier with a big hit in the open field or getting an interception?
JJ: Definitely getting an interception, especially in this day and age (laughs). Contact is... we are kind of shying away from it. It’s kind of hard to put a good lick on someone without getting 15 yards and get thrown out of the game so definitely catching an interception.
ZM: You are being severely slept on in this safety class, why should my team draft Jah’Shawn Johnson?
JJ: I just bring a different aspect to the game. Like I said, I like to be a playmaker out there, change the game with a turnover or a big play on third down, and things like that. Everyone has their opinions on just about anyone but I just think I can get in and I can help any team that I come around.