How valuable was Denzel Johnson to the A.C. Flora football cause?
Let’s count the ways:
As a receiver, Johnson averaged 19.7 yards per catch and hauled in seven scoring passes on a team that took a run-first approach.
As a runner, he averaged 11.0 yards per carry while being utilized primarily out of the wildcat set.
When needed, Johnson was a lock-down cornerback on defense.
On special teams, he had three return touchdowns – two kickoffs and one punt.
Johnson is The State’s Player of the Year in the Midlands.
“It was just a matter of doing whatever I could to help the team win,” Johnson said. “I don’t have any preference about what side of the ball I play, but I have to admit that I loved running the ball out of the wildcat (formation). That seemed to come naturally.”
At the North-South All-Star game in Myrtle Beach, Johnson was used in all three phases and was named the North offensive MVP.
“Denzel is a total package, a competitor and one of the best I’ve ever been around,” Flora coach Reggie Shaw said.
“Aside from his obvious talent, he has a great work ethic and is a young man of character. We had to be careful to not wear him out in the heat early in the season. The temptation was to keep him on the field. He was willing to do anything we asked of him.”
The most telling example of Johnson’s value to the Falcons came in the Class 3A Upper State championship game. Johnson sustained an injury in the first half as the Falcons played South Pointe to a 21-21 standoff. With Johnson on the bench, the Stallions pulled away for a 40-21 win and went on to claim the state title.
“We had one goal this year, because it was going to be the last ride for a lot of us,” Johnson said. “It hurts that we came up a little short.”
The next step for Johnson’s career is on the college level. He has numerous offers from FCS and Division II schools, but patiently is awaiting word from South Carolina and/or Clemson.
“Waiting to hear, that’s where I am right now,” Johnson said. “I’m not a fan of one school over the other. Either Carolina or Clemson would be fine. If both want me, I’ll have to decide what’s the best situation for me. I’d definitely like the chance to compete at that level.”
The Falcons star is up for any challenge in college – on offense, defense or special teams.
After all, he’s done it all before.