Some great athletes leap into their professional career; some soar. Brad Johnson crawled. Unlucky injuries put him on the bench. The competition sidelined him. But nothing stopped him. Born in Black Mountain, North Carolina, population 7,500, Johnson was surrounded by athletes. Both parents taught physical education, and they equipped their son with all the necessary bats, balls, hoops, and mitts.
In high school, Johnson played varsity basketball and football. But by his freshman year at Florida State University, he knew his game was on the field. Becoming starting quarterback was a challenge. Johnson worked with a sports psychologist who taught him focus and dedication. Constant training finally earned him college success and a position with the Minnesota Vikings.
Johnson's NFL career was never magical. Some seasons looked golden until injuries took him out. The Vikings traded him to the Washington Redskins, and later he signed with Tampa Bay. In 2002, Johnson helped the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl, and Black Mountain, North Carolina welcomed him back as a hometown hero. When his NFL career comes to an end, Johnson just may follow his parents and coach young athletes.