HOLIDAY – There aren’t many undersized running backs in the state of Florida that can do what Braxton Johnson can.
After totaling nearly 2,400 yards and 16 touchdowns from his sophomore to junior year at Anclote, the senior is doing his best to top his numbers from last season. The 5’5″, 160-pounder had 13 touchdowns and 1,632 yards, accounting for 52 percent of the Sharks total offensive yardage and 46 percent of the team’s scores.
Johnson has 502 rushing yards and six touchdowns (three rushing, three receiving) in just three games this season. He pointed to his hard blocking and abilities to make defenders miss as keys to success on the playing field.
For a relatively new program at Anclote, the Sharks have won just four games over the last two seasons after making region quarterfinal appearances in both 2012 and 2013. The football team made its debut in 2009 under Matt Wicks, but Matthew Kingsley took over this off-season.
Johnson likes the team’s chances in his senior season despite a 1-2 start which has included a 30-7 win over Land O’ Lakes and losses to Hudson and Ridgewood by a combined total of three points.
“I feel like we will have more success this year because we are slightly underestimated,” Johnson told Prep Sports Scouting. “We worked hard this summer to prepare for a long hard season and we have a new hunger for more.”
Growing up, he never played organized sports as a kid. He says he played kill the carrier in his front yard and was big on basketball in gym class.
Starting his football life in eighth grade at Paul R. Smith, Johnson has always been a running back.
He pointed to his mindset as his biggest strength.
“I love to have fun and that’s what I do when I play,” he said. “That’s why I’m out there. I love the grind.”
The switch from Hicks to Kingsley is something Johnson called different for Anclote.
“There is never a dull moment always hyped up and very intense,” he said.
As for what he learned the most from Hicks, the Anclote head coach for the first seven years of existence, this is what Johnson said.
“I learned that if I want something I have to go and get it,” he said. “No one else can do it for me, except for me. I’m accountable for what I do whether the outcome is positive or negative.”
Although Johnson has yet to receive an offer, he has generated interest from Florida A&M.
His biggest role model is his mother.
“She is a strong and smart individual who has overcame her own adversities,’ Johnson said. “She gives me that extra drive to go harder. I want to be just as strong and positive of a person as she is.”
In terms of his ultimate goal that is to “show how football is like no other sport, the feelings, blood, sweat and tears literally make up this sport.”
Johnson is shifty and strong at the point of attack. His football IQ is noticeable whether he’s making plays as a runner or receiver in the backfield.
Braxton Johnson has all the tools to be a game-changing athlete at the next level. He’s shown he can be that in Class 5A and a college program needs to take a chance on him. Being undersized hasn’t stopped many backs from being successful in both college and the NFL and Johnson continues to put the hard work in.
Favorite players to watch – Colts RB Frank Gore
Playlist before games – Lil Boosie – “No Juice” and “Dirty World”, Lil Bibby – “You Ain’t Gang”, Chief Keef – “Hate Me Now”
Favorite movies – Blade
Favorite TV shows – Courage the Cowardly Dog
Fun fact about you that nobody knows – “I have a good sense of smell.”
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “BJ2K”
Game tape: Johnson’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.