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"Up Close" with Randell Johnson


When you look at redshirt-freshman linebacker Randell Johnson, you can instantly see potential. At 6'3" 210 pounds he has both the frame and athletic ability to help find himself someday on Florida Atlantic’s starting defense. Redshirting his first year on campus, Johnson impressed all throughout spring drills and has made a case for some playing time in Kirk VanValkenburgh’s defense for the upcoming season.

However Johnson says that VanValkenburgh has been more than just a coach, claiming a special bond with the 61 year-old mentor as both a father figure and one of the main reasons why he is at FAU playing for the Owls.

Having played only one season of football while at North Miami Senior High School in Miami, Florida, Johnson was still able to earn All-Dade Honorable mention honors and participated in the North vs. South Dade All-Star game. Johnson produced 99 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions his senior season while playing linebacker, and also saw some time at tight end catching 11 passes.

Johnson recently sat down with us for “Up Close”.

Quick Hits

What is your favorite food?

Barbeque ribs.”

What is your pet peeve?

“I hate losing, it kills me.”

Who is your current off the field role model?

“My daddy, Randy Johnson, and my grandpa, Paul Black. They been up for me from the start, they raised me and whatever I needed
they had for me.”

What are you most proud of?

“To be at FAU and have a football scholarship after only playing one year of high school, so I’m blessed for that.”

What is your major?

“I’m undecided right now. I want to do something in business maybe.”

What is your Faith?


Line of scrimmage

What aspect of your game do you feel is your strength?

“I’m athletic, real athletic. I’m whatever, you can put me wherever and I'll make it. You could put me at d-tackle but I’ll put on some
weight before.”

What aspect of your game do you feel is your weakness?

“I got to get in that playbook a little more and I got to get better on my squats so I can hit harder.”

Down the field

Besides football, what brought you to FAU?

“Coach Van. Were close, I call him my daddy.”

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

“I’m trying to get that starting spot and be all-whatever.”

What game are you looking forward to the most next season?

“Texas. It’s the biggest game of the year man, and everyone is going to tune in, so I’m ready for that game.”

What do you want FAU fans to know about you personally?

“In my free time I play basketball and throw the football around. I listen to the radio a lot, and YouTube mostly.”


Coming up, our next player has a mentor on the team, that he says has helped him a lot.


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