When looking back at his childhood, Ahmed Johnson remembers many great moments filled with fun and laughter, although he also remembers several dark times that often stick out more than the rest.
Johnson faced several traumatic experiences that left him with a lot of built up anger. Looking for an outlet to properly get rid of those negative feelings, he began playing sports. Johnson first started playing baseball and soccer before moving to running track and wrestling.
While sports presented Johnson with the outlet he needed, football would provide him with the most success. After playing just one season for the Delran Bears, Johnson accepted a scholarship to play football for Wagner College.
“It feels good that all my hard work paid off especially because I haven’t been playing for that long,” said Johnson. “My mom really stressed doing well in school and getting good grades. With me getting this scholarship, it has taken a lot off of her chest and allows me to continue moving forward in life.”
Johnson’s football life is unique. As a bit of a late bloomer, he first began playing in ninth grade and while the sport was new to him, he quickly found his way on the field. In 10th grade, Johnson decided to chase a different dream.
He decided to go overseas to play basketball in Dubai. After being there for a little while, Johnson eventually came back to the United States to answer the calling of the gridiron.
According to Johnson, while going into Delran he didn’t even expect to become a starter. After missing over a year of football Johnson really didn’t know where he stood on playing with the team.
“When I got here, everyone was really cool and I was able to get comfortable,” said Johnson. “They moved me around a little. They started me at safety then corner, but eventually they put me at defensive end.”
According to Delran football coach Garrett Lucas, Johnson fit right in, but it was his desire and passion to play that made him stand out.
“He’s so unique because of the way he plays the game,” said Lucas. He has the most violent demeanor I’ve ever seen in a person to the point that it’ll take a team three people to put on him just on kickoff because he’s just running kids over left and right making tackles.
“But then on top of that when you sit down with him, he’s like a gentle giant,” Lucas added. “He’s so respectful. He looks you in your eyes, shakes your hand and wants to have meaningful conversations.
“He has worked his butt off to the point that he deserves this and so much more.”
The news of Johnson’s scholarship was exciting for his coach, too.
“This is something that as a coach you look forward to,” Lucas said. “To be able to tell a young man that they are getting a complete full scholarship, to us it means the world, but to him it means even more.”
When looking forward to Wagner, Johnson is excited to get in the gym and play outside linebacker for the Seahawks. He is planning to major in communications.