Domonique Johnson Interview Jackson State - Cornerback 9/24/08 By: Alex Khvatov Alex Khvatov: What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)? Domonique Johnson: 6’2”, 193 pounds and I ran a 4.38 at my Pro Day. My best time in the forty is 4.32. Alex Khvatov: Coming out of high school, what programs showed interest in you? Domonique Johnson: Missouri, Rice, Colorado State and Hawaii. Alex Khvatov: What made you choose Missouri? Domonique Johnson: I wanted to come home and play against those teams in the Big 12 Conference. I didn’t even play high school football my senior year. I transferred to another high school, but I wasn’t allowed to play. So I didn’t get that much exposure. Alex Khvatov: What did it feel like to play in the Big 12 Conference? Domonique Johnson: It was cool. It was surprising to play against big time teams like Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Alex Khvatov: Do you have fond memories of your time at Missouri? Domonique Johnson: I've got a lot of memories. I had two teammates that died while I was at Missouri, Aaron O’Neill and Damian Nash. I got engaged there. My friends are still there. We played Steve Spurrier in a Bowl Game and we came back and won. Alex Khvatov: Why did decide to leave the Tigers? Domonique Johnson: I felt that I needed to make a change in my life. I got hurt during my sophomore season. Then my head coach questioned my dedication to the team when I joined the fraternity. I felt that it was best for me to transfer. Alex Khvatov: Do you have any regrets about leaving Missouri especially after they had so much success as a team last year? Domonique Johnson: I watched every one of their games. I watched their BCS Bowl Game. I am in a better situation now. Jackson State also achieved a lot by winning the conference last year. Alex Khvatov: How did you wind up at Jackson State? Domonique Johnson: Basically I looked at my options. I didn’t want to go to a D-I program. I decided to go to the SWAC Conference. Jackson State contacted me and showed interest in me. Alex Khvatov: Describe your first season in the SWAC Conference where you established yourself as a dominant force last season. Domonique Johnson: It was basically a surprise for me. I came from a D-I program where a lot of things were given to you. I had to work hard at Jackson State. I am seeing some of the better athletes here from a talent wise standpoint. The level of play is not that different. The main difference in level of play exists on the OL and DL. It reminds me of home. I am comfortable with the surroundings here. Alex Khvatov: What are your strengths on the football field? Domonique Johnson: My height, speed and my experience at the D-I level which definitely helps. Alex Khvatov: What areas of your game do you need to improve upon during your senior season? Domonique Johnson: I need to improve my physicality in all aspects. Alex Khvatov: What is the most memorable moment of your football career up to this point? Domonique Johnson: Winning the Conference Championship last year. Alex Khvatov: What is your favorite NFL team? Domonique Johnson: The Cowboys. It is the first team that I watched with all of their stars like Jay Novacek, Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper. Alex Khvatov: Who is your favorite player? Domonique Johnson: My favorite player is Michael Irvin. I liked his style. Alex Khvatov: Who is the toughest player that you have faced during your career? Domonique Johnson: Sidney Rice. His height, speed and the fact that he could catch the ball with one hand made it difficult to defend him. Alex Khvatov: Which underclassman on your team should we keep an eye on in the future? Domonique Johnson: Malcolm Palmer. He is our free safety. He is a playmaker. He makes plays. Alex Khvatov: What are your expectations from a personal and a team standpoint for your senior year? Domonique Johnson: At the end of the season, my personal goal is to be an All-American. I want to get drafted. I want to go in the first round of the draft. I want to go to the Senior Bowl. We want to win a National Championship. We want to win the SWAC Conference which is the main goal. Alex Khvatov: Are you honored that you were named to the Preseason All-American Team in 2008? Domonique Johnson: Yeah, it is an honor. But if we don’t win and if I don’t play like an All-American, it don’t mean anything. Alex Khvatov: You have drawn comparisons to another small school cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who made a lot of noise last year prior to the draft, what do you think about that? Domonique Johnson: It’s good. I hope that I get drafted like him. That’s good to me. It don’t mean anything. I still have to perform that way. Alex Khvatov: Is it every cornerback’s dream to be left on an island against a wide receiver? Domonique Johnson: Yeah, it means that the coordinator has faith in you. I realize that corners will get beat. Deion is considered one of the greatest and he got beat. You just don’t want to give up the big play. Alex Khvatov: Do you have to have thick skin to play cornerback on any level? Domonique Johnson: It depends. You will hear some words. You have to deal with it. You can’t let it get to you. If you get beat, you have to move onto the next play. You block out the play. Alex Khvatov: What do you enjoy most about playing football? Domonique Johnson: Everything. I enjoy the challenge that I face on every play. Alex Khvatov: Is the NFL a dream or a reality at this point? Domonique Johnson: It is still a dream. If I get drafted then it will become a reality once I get that chance. Alex Khvatov: What are your hobbies? Domonique Johnson: I like to play with my nieces and nephews. I also like to play video games. Alex Khvatov: Finish the sentence, Domonique Johnson is… Domonique Johnson: On the field, I am quiet and intense at the same time. I keep to myself. But my play speaks for itself. Off-the-field, I am laid back and I like to have fun.