At 6-foot-3, Delvin Johnson doesn’t exactly appear to have the size needed to dominate the boards in basketball.
But that’s exactly what he did his senior year at Woodruff High School in Woodruff, S.C.
According to his bio on the Marshall website, Johnson averaged a robust 17 rebounds per game that season for the Wolverines.
Johnson said his basketball skills made him a better football player in the long run.
“It really does translate,” Johnson, a nose tackle, said Tuesday after the Redskins’ first of three mini-camp practices. “Using good foot work — because it’s required in basketball — and just the will and determination to go up and grab those rebounds, I use that out here on the field. I just go out and give it my all.”
Though a powerful rebounder, Johnson said he never considered playing basketball beyond high school.
“I was just going out there to get in good shape and transition to on the field,” he said.
Johnson had a breakout year for Marshall last season. In 13 games, he had 42 tackles with 10.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Johnson — who was signed with the Redskins this offseason as an undrafted free agent — said he’s received help from several defensive linemen as he works on transitioning from the college to the pro game.
“Those guys are great,” Johnson said.”I couldn’t ask for anything better. The situation has just been real good and made the transition really easy.”
As for actually making that transition, Johnson considered himself blessed to even have the opportunity.
“Personally, it’s just a good situation to be in,” he said. “I’m just blessed beyond recognition — a lot of guys don’t get this opportunity, and it’s a blessing to be out here. Transition-wise it’s really good, because at the end of the day, it’s just football. You’re playing with the best guys in the world, and it’s just real fun.”
Here’s a video of Johnson’s highlights from last season at Marshall (via 007donmecca):
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