November 29, 2021
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

DITR: Jahiem Johnson

Jahiem Johnson is a class of 2023 wide receiver/defensive back for Hammond High Magnet School in Hammond, Louisiana. He is 6’1” and 170 lbs. Jahiem is a hard hitting defensive back who has the kind of speed and awareness that translates to the next level. With 8 touchdowns already on the season, Johnson excels on both sides of the field for Hammond High. Jahiem is a leader on the gridiron and a leader in the classroom with a 3.8 GPA.

How long have you been playing football?

I have been playing since I was seven years old. My whole family grew up playing football so they have been teaching me the game from a young age.

Do you or did you play any other sports? 

I play baseball and basketball also. Playing different sports helps my competitive nature. I like to stay busy, so playing three sports definitely does that for me. It also allows me to stay in shape and work on different types of workout regiments.

Which position do you prefer, DB or WR?

I prefer the defensive side of the ball because I like to hit, so I would say cornerback. I feel like my best position is free safety, but the team needs me at corner so I have been playing there this year.

What did your off-season training regiment look like?

On a normal day, I would start off by waking up and eating. I would then go to either football or basketball practice whichever one was that day. I would eat again after practice before I went to the weight room. After weights, I would eat again. Then I would either go shoot, run some routes, or do some footwork. After that, I would eat my last meal of the day. I am really focusing on gaining weight right now, so I was trying to eat as much as I could over the summer.

Do you have any goals for the upcoming season?

For personal goals, I want to make first team all state and lead the district in touchdowns. I’m sitting at 8 touchdowns right now, so I feel like I’m on a good pace. However, the most important goal is to lead my team to the playoffs. I feel like when you get to the biggest stage that’s when you show the best athlete you can be.

What kind of defensive back would you describe yourself as? Do you feel as though you are better in man coverage or zone coverage?

It depends what position I am playing. When I’m at free safety I’m usually like a zone ball hawk. But sometimes I’ll walk down to the line to either take away the run or play in the box. Although at corner, I prefer man because it’s personal. It’s either you’re going to beat the guy in front of you or he will beat you. I always feel like I’m the better guy so I like the challenge of being one-on-one.

What is your most memorable moment on the field?

The first thing that comes to mind is in our purple and white game in 8th grade. I was playing free safety and the opposing running back and I were pretty well known around our area. I remember one play where we met at the sideline. He put his shoulder down to try and run through me but I hit him harder and he went flying into the fence. That play is something that I won’t forget.

How would your teammates describe you? 

I think they would describe me as funny but hard working. I am a people person, I hang around with my teammates a lot to try and build chemistry. I want to see everyone around me succeed and the way we can do that is by spending time together.

What is a part of your game that you feel will translate to the next level?

I feel like I am good in open-field tackling situations and just wrapping up in general. A lot of defensive backs just try to throw themselves at the legs of players, but I always make it a point to wrap up and secure the tackle. Other than that, I feel like my speed can translate because I can cover a lot of ground in the secondary.

What is a part of your game that you feel like you need to get better at?

Like I told you, I am constantly working to get my weight up because that is something that I feel is necessary for the next level. But in all honesty, I want to improve on every aspect of my game. I am a solid player but I’m not satisfied with just being solid.

Do you have any role models who have inspired you? 

My mom’s work ethic is something that inspires me. She’s never given up on anything. She’s always made it work even when things went bad. Seeing that fight in her has made me want to work as hard as I can to achieve my goals. Coach Buckels is also someone who I look up to. I like that he’s tough on us. It makes me want to work harder.

What is something that recruiters should know about you?

I hate losing. I am not a person who will ever go down without a fight. I will get after it and try my hardest to be the best person that I can be.

Why do you play football?

I fell in love with the game from a young age. People have always told me that I have talent so I didn’t want to take that for granted. I kept working and I fell in love with getting better.

Do you think football has affected you as a person? 

I think football has made me a better person. Throughout the game you face a lot of adversity but anything is possible if you keep pushing yourself.

Has football taught you any valuable lessons? 

It taught me to never take the moment for granted and just enjoy every part of it. You never know when your career can be over. In our jamboree game, our cornerback went in for a tackle and got paralyzed. That incident really put everything in perspective for me, I want to enjoy every second I have on the field. 

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