In the Football world, one that is highlighted by the big play offense and nose-breaking defense, it is the play of the quarterback, the playmaking wideout, or the shut down corner, that gets the biggest cheers amongst barstools and living room couches alike. There is one position that goes unnoticed and as of lately, has almost become completely extinct. The Fullback. A position on the field that requires the smash mouth approach of a middle linebacker, the smooth feet of a tailback and the humble “no one notices until I screw up” approach of an Offensive linemen.
This week for our small school sleeper profile, we decided it is time to give the fullback the love it deserves, as we introduce you to Dreon Johnson.
This 6’0 ,245 lbs, prospect, has the size and strength to be a difference maker in an Eagles, offense that was craving a fullback during 2016. He has the thick base you would want from your blocking back and the smash mouth attitude to succeed. He runs the 40-yard dash in a shade under 4.7 and can create a true matchup problem for defensive coordinators.
“What I really love about playing fullback, coming out of the backfield, or coming down on kickoffs, is the contact. I will never shy away from contact, I don’t think there is any room for it on the field. If you don’t want to hit, than why play this game? I love coming out of the backfield and knocking my guy, no matter who he is, what position he is , just knocking him out of his shoes!”
That is where I made my money..on knockout hits, on offense, or tackles on kickoff, or big blocks, in any matter. I love it. That is how I fit in Philadelphia, forget about my skill set, really, I can do whatever they ask me to do, to help the team, but I fit in Philadelphia, because of my tough-guy, punch you in the mouth style of play. That is how they do it in Philly’, and that is how I will do it, or how I would do it if I get a chance our there, or for any team for that matter.”
Playing at Towson University, Johnson was used in a bevy of ways. When he got on campus, he was thought to be a defensive end, or linebacker. He started his career well, but after a few injuries left the team short of talent, Johnson and his coach saw it fit to let him lend a hand on offense.
“In football, you can’t be selfish. There is no room for it. I was asked to move over to Fullback and I signed on the dotted line so to speak. I jumped at the situation, anything to help the team, really, to be a part of the team and really contribute.
When Coach, came to me, I was like ” No Problem, lets go” and really that was it. I put my helmet on and started learning the game on that side of the ball. I honestly can say it was the best thing for me.”
It was his selfless manner, that stuck out to his position coach, and other parts of the Towson, family. One coach going as far to say, “He is a leader, he truly is..and the way he would take any task and run with it stood out. He is special!”
We asked Dreon about his attitude and how he seemed to roll with the punches so well.
“Honestly, it was upbringing. I owe everything to my Mother. We were given the short end of the stick, but we were all strong. My mother is strong, my family in general, made me a man quick. My circumstances forced me to be the man of the house at a young age. So I would say having to adapt to that kind of situation made these things so small to me. Not to say my team or football is small, but my life was one way and I had to adapt to it. I came out great and my family is doing great, because we are so strong and capable of dealing with hard times.
Having to be the man at such a young age, having to help raise my siblings, it taught me a lot. A discipline that most kids at my young age would of curled up and quit. Really, a kid my age shouldn’t have to deal with this, but because of the things put in front of me, I had to be a man. I take football as it goes, my Coach asks me to play fullback, I will play fullback, if Coach says “Dreon you’re QB”, shoot I will be QB, and do my best. I am an athlete, so whatever a coach needs me to do I will, I understand it is cliché to say something like that, but it’s the truth. Like I believe it is family first, make sure they are good and I am good. I treat my team like it. If they are doing good, I am!”
Dreon, has the skillset to be a legitimate problem in the Eagles, offense. He adds to it a versatility, that coaches love, and has the attitude and playing style that would make him a fixture in Philadelphia sports for years to come.