Alabama safety Rashad Johnson has been purposely bulking up during his
offseason workouts and is really pleased with the results.
"The nutrition program is spectacular. Everybody has their own set diet
and meal plans," he said during a recent interview with Scout.com.
"I know I came in here with some questions from scouts about my size—and
as a result my durability since guys are bigger and faster in the NFL. So I've put on a significant amount of weight, but
I'm also running faster than when I got here."
Johnson was listed at 186 pounds on Alabama's 2008 roster and then weighed in
at 195 during January's weigh-in at the Senior Bowl.
"I had put on some weight before I got to the Senior Bowl and scouts
told me it looked good," he said. "They told me I looked good on the
field with my range and little things like my backpedal."
Based on his reported weight at the Combine a few days ago, Johnson obviously
continued his regimen of adding muscle. He weighed in at 203 pounds.
"I'm seeing the most change in my upper body frame. I can look in the
mirror now and see a totally different frame than what I had when I first got
here," he said. "My chest is definitely a lot bulkier, and my back.
It's just crazy, because I looked at pictures yesterday of what I looked like
when I first got here, and now it just looks totally different."
Johnson is a former walk-on at Alabama who became highly regarded for his
field intelligence and leadership. He finished second on the team in tackles
with 89 during his final season, intercepted five passes, broke-up 11, forced a
fumble and recovered one.
Clemson QB Cullen Harper was excited to have an opportunity to showcase his
skills at the NFL Combine.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
"It's another opportunity for me to go out there and throw the ball and show
everybody that I can make all the throws on the football field," he told Scout.com
shortly before leaving for Indianapolis.
But Harper was also looking forward to meeting with team representatives so
that they could learn more about him as a person.
"I am a leader. At Clemson, I was voted team captain two years in a row.
That's something that means a lot to me," he said. "At the quarterback position, first and
foremost, you have to be a leader and have the respect of your peers. And I've
proven that I'm able to do that no matter where I go.
"And then there's what I bring to the table as a player. I'm a guy who
can go out and make the plays, lead a team and do what it takes to win a
ballgame. In the past, I feel like I've done a really good job of protecting the
football and made sound decisions. With the accuracy that I've had over the past couple of years, I think
I'd be a great addition to any team."
Over the last two seasons, Harper has completed 63.4 percent of his throws
for 5,592 yards, 40 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Even though he lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith
didn't pay much attention to the Tigers during his early football years.
"Growing up, I was a big Florida State and Florida fan. I really wasn't that
interested in LSU," he told Scout.com. "The year Coach Saban
and the team won the Sugar Bowl
against Illinois, that's when I really started paying attention to them.
the national championship game that they won, he offered me a scholarship, and
was someone that I knew and it was only five minutes from where I was living,
it was a place I knew where I could grow that was also on the rise. So it was a perfect
Beckwith, who just returned from the NFL Combine, likes his chances for
success at the next level.
"Compared to most linebackers, I think I'm pretty athletic," he
said. "I have great range
that goes from sideline to sideline, and I think I have the ability to cover very
well also. I'm versatile, I can play outside or the middle position, and I bring a lot
Alabama QB John Parker Wilson knew that the NFL Combine was an important step
to his future pro career. He was particularly looking forward to the opportunity
to be interviewed by NFL clubs.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
"You can only see so much on
tape. When you get a guy in the room, you can tell what kind of leader he is
and what kind of player he is," Wilson explained. "During an
interview, you can show how smart you are and how well you know the game.
"Playing in the SEC, we see a lot of different defenses. And even going against our
own guys in practice we see a lot of different stuff. So that helped me out a
lot, along with the experience of starting for three years."
As he looked back on his final collegiate season, the 6-foot-2, 219-pound
quarterback felt that he learned some valuable lessons that will help him
continue to develop as a professional football player.
"I think this year, more than any other year, I made really good
decisions," he said. "I learned that you don't have to try to win the game on every
play or every time you throw. You just take what they give you. Learning that
helped me grow a lot this year."
During his three seasons as a starter, Wilson completed 56.5 percent of his
throws for 7,796 yards, 44 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.
LSU fullback Quinn Johnson is highly skilled at clearing a path for a
ball-carrier, but he wants to be seen as much more than a bruising fullback at the pro
"I think I was pretty good at catching passes before, but I didn't get a chance
to show it much at LSU. So I decided to work on it more during this off-season
to make sure everything was brushed-up to par," he told Scout.com.
Johnson is a selfless player who simply wants to do whatever it takes to help
his team win a football game.
"I'll do anything I can to help my team," he said. "I feel like I have to get my job done
at all costs and no matter what. I've played on field goal, I've played on punt, I played on kickoff returns,
so it really and truly doesn't matter where you put me on the football field as
long as I get to play.
"I'm definitely a hard worker, and I'm real tough on the field. I'm
willing to do
anything and everything it takes to get the job done on and off the field."
Johnson carried the ball just 14 times for 28 yards and three scores during
the 2008 season, but his ability to blow-up a would-be tackler with his blocking
ability and his special teams work is sure to be attractive to NFL clubs.
Click the player names to learn more about Rashad Johnson, Cullen Harper, Darry Beckwith, John Parker Wilson, and Quinn Johnson.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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