Belle Glade Sun

A.J. Johnson follows family legacy

Antarus “A.J.” Johnson has quite a football legacy to live up to.

The Glades Day senior will play his last high school football game soon at the school.

The smooth wide receiver and return man has quite a family tree when it comes to football.

Special to The Sun/Courtesy photo. A.J. Johnson in the Gator locker room.

His father Andreal Johnson played football at Pahokee High and was all-state back in 1992. He went on to play for the Maryland Terrapins and later got a taste of the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

His uncle, Johnnie Johnson, was one of the most valuable players in Palm Beach County, for football, and was destined for stardom until a shoulder injury while playing junior college ball in Oklahoma. Johnnie still made it to play for the Maryland Terrapins as well.

A.J. said he feels things have gone well for him in his football career. He said while the Gators have had some tough losses this year, he always had confidence his team could achieve great things.

A.J. is a three year starter for the Gators.

“I feel like we can pull through and go a long way,” he added.

A.J. grew up in Pahokee as a child and then moved to Wellington and attended Trinity Christian. They did not have a football program there and he moved back to Belle Glade and enrolled at Glades Day as a freshman.

He said his father told him that each play is independent of each other and that you must focus and do your best on each play of a football game.

“The game isn’t dictated on the late play. Whether it was your worst or your best play, it can’t carry over to the next play,” he noted.

In other words, don’t let a mistake bother you, and get after it on each snap.

So far Johnson hasn’t received any college offers but hopes springs eternal. He is working hard to keep his academics up and take the tests he needs to enter college.

He said football has also taught him some important lessons he can use later in life.

“Always stay tough and keep your head up no matter what happens. No matter what the score, keep driving, keep pushing because you never know what might happen,” he added.

Johnson said he would like to pursue a career as an engineer in the petroleum field after his playing days are over.

His parents are Eugenia Elijah and Andreal Johnson.

Johnson said he would love to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play college and pro ball. His advice to younger players is to keep working in the weight room but also remember academics.

“Your grades are the most important thing. If your grades aren’t in order, colleges will not offer you a scholarship,” he added.