Gus Johnson is arguably one of the best running backs to go through the Stephen F. Austin football program, and now the East Texas native is playing with America’s Team.
Johnson signed with the Cowboys right before their training camp and is now looking to make an impression. Johnson said he’s learned fast that being a rookie sometimes means you have to hold a clipboard.
"I'm going to take that love beating, learn from it, and maybe next year I get to show a rookie how it goes," said Johnson.
Nicknamed the Gus Bus, Johnson shined as a Gilmer Buckeye and as a Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack. The East Texan said putting on a Cowboys uniform is a dream come true.
"It’s pretty crazy. It's an experience you really can't imagine,” said Johnson. “It's something unbelievable really. In college I thought they were pretty fast, but these guys are big, fast, strong, everything.”
From wearing the number 22 in high school, to sporting number six in college, the running back is hoping to make America's team by standing out with the number 37.
"You just got to make plays. That's the number one thing in football. If you're making plays nobody can turn you away. So just come out and make plays every day," said Johnson.
"We want to make sure we give every guy on this team right now, 90 guys, an opportunity to show who they are,” said head coach Jason Garrett. “So you'll see a lot of young guys early on in training camp to make sure we give them a chance to see if they can make this football team."
Featured at SFA, Johnson finished as the Lumberjacks all-time rushing king. He set program records for career rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and total touchdowns.
Gus is no longer the main guy, but he is taking full advantage of his limited reps.
"On that one play you got to take advantage of it, you can't bust. You got to do what you got to do, be where you got to be,” said Johnson. “On the plays I’m not in there it's more about getting mental reps. Even though I'm not in, I'm hearing the play call and imagining what I'm doing back behind the line of scrimmage"
With no feature running back on Dallas, there is a chance for Johnson to make an early impact.
"It excites me a lot, but right now I'm just accepting my role right now. The backs that have been here, of course, are going to get seniority and things like that. I just take everything from them, learn from them and make the most out of my opportunities,” said Johnson.
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