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Eric Johnson II: Indianapolis Colts Rookie Files – Sports Illustrated

Most college football players will not make it to the NFL.

With hundreds of collegiate football programs across the country, most players at this level will not have a chance at the next level.

This fact is increasingly true at the lower levels of college football. Most draft picks are taken from programs at the higher Division I level, where they have experience against top competition.

But while the odds are stacked against them, it is not impossible to become a professional football player. Sometimes all it takes is a little pre-draft noise to get on a team’s radar.

This is “Rookie Files,” a series on Horseshoe Huddle that gives you the backstory of every rookie for the Indianapolis Colts. Going player by player, we look at their journeys to the NFL and what makes each one unique while also detailing how they help the Colts. Next is Eric Johnson II, whose dream of playing in the NFL did not seem obtainable until right before the NFL draft.

© Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

The Creature

Johnson was born on July 16, 1998, in Normal, Illinois, to Eric Johnson and Kesha Richardson. Eric Sr. also has a background in football, earning All-MVFC honors as a defensive lineman at Illinois State. He was invited to New York Jets training camp for a tryout in 1997 and played professionally for ten seasons in the CFL, XFL, and indoor football league.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Johnson had an affinity for the game of football growing up. He loved physical sports, which is why he was drawn to wrestling as well. Johnson would find success in both.

Growing up, Johnson was always called E.J. by his friends and family. But as he began his freshman year at Plainfield South High School in Plainfield, Illinois, another player on the team went by E.J. as well. Because of this, “The Creature” was born.

“It was a nickname we kind of came up with because most of my life, I’ve always been E.J.,” Johnson explained. “My full name is Eric Morris Johnson II, but we had a guy there, a senior in front of me, his name was Eugene Sutton, so he was also E.J. We were just coming up with some different names that we could get. I know me and my dad, we always talk about personas. You know, playing the game, when you’re going out there, what do you want to play like? Like a creature, like an animal. That’s just kind of how it came about.”

Johnson took the nickname, and the persona, to heart. He quickly became a menace on the football field under head coach Kenneth Bublitz, earning all-conference as a junior. Johnson capped off his high school career with a whopping 29 tackles for loss and 17 sacks his senior season, earning all-conference recognition once again.

“The Creature” also took care of business on the wrestling mat. Johnson finished second at the 2015 IHSA Class 3A state …….

Source: https://www.si.com/nfl/colts/news/eric-johnson-ii-indianapolis-colts-rookie-files

Most college football players will not make it to the NFL.

With hundreds of collegiate football programs across the country, most players at this level will not have a chance at the next level.

This fact is increasingly true at the lower levels of college football. Most draft picks are taken from programs at the higher Division I level, where they have experience against top competition.

But while the odds are stacked against them, it is not impossible to become a professional football player. Sometimes all it takes is a little pre-draft noise to get on a team’s radar.

This is “Rookie Files,” a series on Horseshoe Huddle that gives y…….

Most college football players will not make it to the NFL.

With hundreds of collegiate football programs across the country, most players at this level will not have a chance at the next level.

This fact is increasingly true at the lower levels of college football. Most draft picks are taken from programs at the higher Division I level, where they have experience against top competition.

But while the odds are stacked against them, it is not impossible to become a professional football player. Sometimes all it takes is a little pre-draft noise to get on a team’s radar.

This is “Rookie Files,” a series on Horseshoe Huddle that gives y…….

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