A week ago fullback Will Johnson was fighting for a spot on the Steelers roster, hoping to make an impact on special teams and as a back-up to fullback David Johnson.
But after David Johnson injured his ACL against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, Will Johnson was thrown into the spotlight.
“It’s unfortunate to have to fulfill the role, but I am more than ready to step up and do what I have to do,” said Johnson. “I am very excited, even though he won the spot I was excited to fulfill my role on special teams and help as much as I can.
“I like to say everything happens for a reason. I am excited for the opportunity. I am not happy he went down this way but I am definitely looking forward to it.”
Johnson said after reviewing film the coaches felt he did well and in his words, “I think I will be the starting fullback moving forward.”
Johnson played for West Virginia University from 2007-10, but went unsigned by any team for the 2011 season. He spent time in Charlotte North Carolina, working out and getting in shape.
He got permission from West Virginia to attend their Pro Day in 2012, impressing Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin in the process and getting signed two days later.
“They told me they were impressed with what I did as far as speed and strength and told me they wanted to sign me,” said Johnson. “They said they didn’t want to make it public at that time until I passed the physical.”
Two days later, he signed with the Steelers. Not bad for a guy who last season was working three jobs, including two landscaping jobs and in the shipping and fulfillment warehouse for Elder Beerman.
“It’s definitely a blessing. It’s a lot better,” said Johnson. “Working those jobs helps you find yourself deep down inside. This is something I really wanted to do. You put all of your effort in to train, stay up a little later and work and it’s paying off.”
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