Desmond Johnson becomes a Fighting Camel - Camp Lejeune Globe: Sports

Desmond Johnson becomes a Fighting Camel

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  • Desmond Johnson becomes a Fighting Camel

     Lejeune High School's Desmond Johnson, right, reacts after signing his letter of intent to play football at Campbell University on Thursday at Lejeune High School.

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 8:00 am

As Lejeune High School’s Desmond Johnson searched for a college to attend, he wanted a place where he could play football and get a good education. He said he found that at Campbell University.

“I chose Campbell University because I thought it was the best fit where I can impact the best at,” said Johnson, who signed his letter of intent to play for the Fighting Camels March 7. “I have been to campus twice, visiting once last year and a camp over the summer. I love the campus and the atmosphere.”

Johnson, who played mostly wide receiver at Lejeune High, picked Campbell over other offers from Augustana College, Chowan College and the Naval Academy.

“It feels great to sign with Campbell University,” Johnson said. “They welcomed me with open arms and I am ready to get up there to get to work. I am ready to start this new chapter in my athletic and academic career.”

In his senior season, Johnson caught three touchdown passes while averaging 11.6 yards per reception. He also had two rushing touchdowns on the season. As a backup quarterback in two games, he threw for 188 yards and a touchdown.

“It is fantastic that Desmond is signing with Campbell,” said Brett Becklund, Lejeune High assistant coach. “He put in the hard work doing everything he needed to get done to get to that level.”

More importantly for Becklund, he called Johnson a great teammate.

“Desmond was always trying to help people out at practice,” Becklund said. “He was always trying to teach the freshmen.”

Johnson plans to major in athletic training at Campbell.

“Desmond was great with determination and work ethic,” said his father, Dante Johnson. “He would get up on his own and go take care of working out. No one had to tell him because he had his sights on what he was trying to achieve.”

Dante Johnson served as an assistant coach at Lejeune High, and said his son respected the line between family and football.

“I made it clear to him that when we step across the line, I am coach,” Dante Johnson said. “When we are in the car heading home, I would be dad.”

Throughout his four years as a Devil Pup, Desmond Johnson totaled 453 receiving yards, averaging 14.6 yards per catch. At running back, he had 577 rushing yards, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt, and scored four touchdowns.

With the next Campbell University football season coming up, Desmond Johnson said he was excited to train under his new head coach, Mike Minter, a former safety for the Carolina Panthers.

“Coach Minter is a blue collar guy and he is all about the hard work,” Desmond Johnson said. “He will push you to be the best you can. He wants you to develop as an athlete and a young man.”

Campbell University is part of the Football Championship Subdivision and plays in the Big South Conference. In 2018, Campbell was 6-5 overall with a 1-4 conference record.

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