Former Port Allen track star chases dream of playing pro football
PORT ALLEN - If you're going to chase your dreams, it helps to be fast: Johnathan Johnson has always been fast.
The 2009 100-meter champion from Port Allen is now running after a dream of playing pro football as he prepares for a tryout with the Saskatchewan Roughriders nearly 2 years after graduating college.
Its been a long journey to get to this point for Johnson, who began his collegiate career running track at LSU, but realized he really wanted to play football.
Johnson left LSU against his mother's wishes and found a place on the roster at Eastern Arizona Community College before transferring to The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Johnson didn't fit in well with the Golden Lions scheme though, and his initial tryouts with the NFL after college didnt' fare well: the scouts liked his speed, but not his lack of production from his SWAC school.
Johnson might have given up his dream at that point if not for the wishes of his dying father, who asked Johnathan before he died in May 2015 to try out for pro football one more time.
Since then, Johnson has been training to be ready for this moment, this tryout with the Roughriders on Saturday in Houston.
He says it's his last attempt at pro ball. If he doesn't make it, Johnson says he'll be at peace with his attempt and trying to fulfill his father's wishes.
"I'll be at peace because I know I'll have given it everything I have," Johnson said.
And maybe, just maybe, the former track star from Port Allen will finally say he was able to chase down his dream.