Damaris Johnson Not Concerned With Award Talk


Monday, August 8th 2011, 9:58 pm
By: News On 6


Bobby Lewis, NewOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Ask any Golden Hurricane player or coach and they'll all agree. None of them has ever seen any one play football like Tulsa receiver Damaris Johnson.

"He can stop on a dime and give change for a dollar," said first-year offensive coordinator Greg Peterson. "Our goal on offense is to use his skills as a runner and a receiver."

Johnson has done plenty of damage over his first three seasons on campus. Tulsa's 5-foot-8 lightning bolt already owns the NCAA record for most all-purpose yards in a career. With one season to go, his 7,796 total yards are already 32 more than the previous mark set by Western Michigan's Brandon West.

Now, his name is popping up in Heisman trophy talk.

"There is a reason why Damaris is the all time leader in all-purpose yards. He has the God-given ability to make people miss," said head coach Bill Blankenship. "You couldn't catch him in a phone booth."

Johnson has aspirations of playing in the NFL after his days at TU are done. He hopes to be a coach one day, if those professional football dreams don't come true.

"I want to be a coach because coaches in my life have helped me in many ways, as being father figures and role models," Johnson said. "I'm just trying to do that for somebody else."

Johnson isn't interested in talking about individual awards like the highly sought after Heisman, honoring the nation's top performer. Instead he insists if the team plays well enough, "anything is possible".

Coaches call him a leader. Players call him incredible to watch.

"He just moves so much quicker. You watch him move, just, the juke moves that he does at full speed and he never loses his stride when he does it," said sophomore running back Trey Watts. "If you look at football in numbers and what the Heisman is supposed to be about, I feel the best player in the nation, I feel like you have to put Damaris Johnson in that category because no one racks up as many yards as he does. Period."

His quarterback agrees.

"He comes out and works hard every day," said G.J. Kinne. "He does anything he can do to help the team."