One of American’s favorite weekend traditions is that of watching “their” team square off in the NFL for a weekly battle of the pigskin. But before those players were playing on Sundays in the NFL or even Saturdays in college for that matter, they were first standout of their local high school teams, and contributing to Friday Night Lights.
In our weekly review of the outstanding football players in the Inland Valley, we look at Riverside’s Poly Bears. One of the standout players this season has been on the defensive side of the football, Quentin Johnson. During Riverside Poly’s 34-4 win versus Fontana Kaiser on 9/19, Jackson recorded 8 tackles, 1 interception and 3 deflections.
For his efforts, Johnson was named our Player of the Week, presented by IESportsNet.com. We caught up with Johnson to talk about his season, his past and his future in football:
Question: Who were your major influences in sports?
Quentin Johnson: My mom and family are why I play, especially with the passion that I play with.
Question: Who are some of the athletes that you pattern your game after?
Quentin Johnson: Ed Reed, Ronnie Lott, Richard Sherman
Question: What made you want to play this sport, what motivates you?
Quentin Johnson: I've always loved the game. Being raised in a football family, the drive has always been there to play.
Question: How long have you been playing the sport? How did you start? What made you want to be an athlete?
Quentin Johnson: This will be my 7th season. I started when I was 9 and nearly quit. In my very first game I had an asthma attack and that was going to be it, but my patents made me stick with out and I'm so thankful for that.
Question: How would you describe your game / style of play?
Quentin Johnson: I would say I'm an offensive player, playing defense. I'll do anything to get the ball back to the offense and whether that's forcing a turnover or making a routine tackle. I want the ball in my team's possession.
Question: What is your hometown?
Quentin Johnson: Riverside
Question: What colleges are you interested in?
Quentin Johnson: My top 3 schools are Cal, Washington, and San Diego St.
Question: What have been some of the setbacks in your career?
Quentin Johnson: Last season, in my second varsity game, i dislocated my elbow and missed the remainder of that season. Missing that year put everything in perspective. At any moment this could be taken away, so i play every play like it's my last.
Question: What have been some of the highlights of your career?
Quentin Johnson: Starting on varsity as a sophomore. My hard work paid off for that season, it's just unfortunate that it was cut short by injury.
Question: Who was the most influential person in your career?
Quentin Johnson: Cody Smith. Cody it's a senior at Poly and last year missed the whole season with stomach cancer and season before with an injury, but this year he started in two games and if he's not starting he's always on the field. His perseverance not only to overcome cancer, but play varsity football after missing two seasons is truly inspiring.