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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 10, 2010 at 2:05 PM

A bigger Johnson aiming for bigger things in 2010 — and a few more notes

jamesjohnson.jpg
I posted the audio earlier today of the conversation a few of us had after practice yesterday with sophomore receiver James Johnson (pictured at right last year against Oregon).
But worth putting into print form, as well, as Johnson was candid about his second-half slump of last season.
He was a sensation early in the year when he scored the first TD of the Steve Sarkisian era and had 35 catches in the first eight games — including seven each against Oregon and USC.
But as Johnson explains it, he suffered a turf toe injury against Oregon, then another one in the other foot shortly after, and his season went downhill from there — he had just four catches for 38 yards in the last four games.
“Really, I felt what happened, it was injuries and then it became me being a freshmen,” he said. “The injuries really kind of put me in a funk and that put me in a funk in the classroom, and after that is when everything started going downhill. But you live and you learn and I thank God for the opportunity to come out and come back and give it a shot every day.”
Johnson said the turf toe “was really killing me, really really hard on my legs and my body. But I’m doing a lot better now. It’s still there bit I’m able to deal with it a lot more mentally.”
Johnson said one way he hopes to combat the issue this year is with a sturdier frame — he said he’s up to 203 pounds after playing last season at 185.
“I think it will make a great difference because one, I’m much more physical at the line of scrimmage and (defensive backs) can look at me and think, ‘wow this guy is pretty big, this is a big dude,”’ he said. “And on my release I’m a lot stronger and really able to get my hands on the little defensive backs and get them out of the way.”
IN OTHER NEWS. ..
— Here’s the schedule for today’s practice from Coach Sark’s site, officially set to begin at 3:15 p.m.
Mason Foster was named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, honoring the nation’s top defensive player, while Chris Polk and Jake Locker were named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, honoring the best player in the country.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller reports on some bad news for both of UCLA’s lines, which were already a little shaky.
— Miller also reports that UW is in good shape at safety.
All for now.

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