Captain Consistency: Veteran, Team Captain Johnson Brings Leadership To Aggies’ Offensive Line

Change is nothing new for senior tackle Spencer Johnson.Since joining Utah State’s football team in 2006, Johnson has played for two different coaching staffs and has seen many teammates move on. Through all the change, Johnson has been reliable. His 31 career starts and 36 career games played are the most among current Utah State linemen. “He brings a lot of leadership to the front,” said USU offensive line coach Alex Gerke. “He is a proven guy who has played in several games, and had a lot of legitimate minutes.”After redshirting in 2006, Johnson started in all 12 games for the Aggies in 2007. That season Johnson participated in over 700 plays.In 2008 and 2009 Johnson played in all 24 games, starting 19 of them. His steady play helped the offense set school a school record for offensive output during 2009.Coming into this season, expectations for Utah State football, and Johnson, are both high.”Obviously I want to do everything I can to help the team,” said Johnson. “The whole O-line is focused on keeping Diondre (Borel) clean and helping the backs get where they need to go.”Johnson’s team-oriented mindset has earned the respect of his fellow Aggies. During fall camp Johnson was selected by his teammates to be a captain. Gerke says that his impact on other players is visible.”He understands how to talk to the young people, and he understands the overall picture of what we are trying to get done. He has a great ability of being able to relate that to the young players. They all gravitate to him, which is a huge plus,” said Gerke, who has seen many changes in Johnson in the two years coaching him. “I’ve seen him develop physically, technically, and, most of all, academically.” Johnson is a journalism and communication major who is on pace to graduate in the spring. His educational goals do not end with a bachelor’s degree.”I would like to get a Master’s in American Literature, and then become a teacher and coach. I love writing so I am probably going to keep that up while I teach,” Johnson said.Playing football for Utah State is something that Johnson will miss.”There are very few people out there that can wake up and say ‘I am going to play football today,’” said Johnson. “I can be having a bad day, but I get to play another day of football, which is one of the best things in the world.”Johnson, a native of Lancaster, Calif., was attracted to Logan, and Utah State because it reminded him of home.”Being around something that I am familiar with made the choice easy,” he said. Logan’s family-oriented community is something that Johnson has enjoyed.When asked what his favorite part of Aggie football has been Johnson talked about being with his teammates. “We have so many personalities on this team. I have met guys from Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. Culture is such a huge part of life. It has been great to meet new people, and experience a lot of new things,” Johnson said.The theme selected by Coach Andersen, and his staff for this season is “ALL IN”. Johnson said that theme is the biggest change he has seen since Andersen got here.”Everyone is buying in now. Everyone is all about Utah State football. We all believe in everyone else,” said Johnson.That is also the advice Johnson leaves with his young Aggie teammates. Quoting Andersen, Johnson advised the young players to be “invested not interested,” and to come to practice each day ready to focus, and work.”Once football is going well everything else will go well,” said Johnson. “I promise you that.”

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