Roschon Johnson begins each day at 4 a.m. with a prayer. Then he leaves his house and heads to the football field at Port Neches-Groves High School to run bleachers, throw the football and get in extra work before practice begins. He then heads to school, to football practice, back home for a nap and some food, and then it is back to training before bedtime.
It’s a grueling schedule, but one the Texas quarterback commit welcomes.
Johnson, who was the Longhorns’ first recruit of the 2019 class when he committed in July 2017, has always been known for his work ethic, even as a child. The four-star dual-threat quarterback started his career in youth leagues as a running back and safety. You could find him and his dad, Ronald, pushing sleds up and down fields when Roschon was just eight years old.
People in the town thought it was Ronald pushing his youngest son to be the best. It was all Roschon.
“He’s blessed with a drive most kids don’t have,” Ronald Johnson said. “He saw the results from those workouts and was always asking me when we could go put in more work. It’s just a gift. We have a strong spiritual base in this family and I’ve always told him to be extraordinary, you must do the extra.”
Roschon always wanted to be part of the action. He’s the youngest of Johnson’s three sons. Dorian is the oldest brother, J.J. is the one in the middle. Roschon was the one playing catch up. That never stopped the four-star recruit from participating in family events.
It was evident from an early age to his older brothers that Roschon was different. He was competitive. He was tough. He was ready to be part of the group.
“I remember him at three jumping into our football games in the front yard. We’d let him run the ball or tackle us for fun, but he’d start running out into the middle of plays he wasn’t a part of,” Dorian recalled with a laugh. “All of a sudden I see a little Roschon running at my brother J.J. and I thought we were going to hurt him. Instead, Roschon just tackles J.J. like it was nothing.”
Roschon got big fast. He was the youngest in a family full of competitive athletes, and one of the youngest kids in his neighborhood. It helped him grow up, physically and emotionally. It also allowed him to dominate the football fields in southeast Texas. His physical play once nearly got him kicked out of a youth league when he was eight years old. The opposing coaches accused him of spearing their players. After film review by the league, it turned out Roschon was simply physical.
“Roschon knocked three kids out of the game, so the other team forfeited after the third quarter,” his father said. “He is a tough kid used to competing with older guys. It helped him once he started on varsity as a sophomore.”
Roschon didn’t just exemplify the physical traits needed to become a future star. He showed the mental characteristics needed to lead. He moved to quarterback in middle school because he was the best athlete with the biggest arm. It was then that he discovered a love for film. Ronald recalls a time when Roschon was 12 and readying for a big game. Roschon found tape on the Internet of the opposing team and called his dad to discuss how to attack the opponent.
“He wants to learn as much as possible. Not just about himself, but about the opponent. He’s a film junkie,” Ronald said. “Know your enemy.”
If you’re thinking Roschon Johnson is the perfect kid, you’re not far off. His father and his older brother described Roschon as an observer, a kid who watched his two older brothers get whipped for transgressions and realized he never wanted to cross his father.
“He saw us get our butts whipped,” Dorian said. “We taught him how not to act.”
Roschon is an all-A’s student. He avoided the belt. And he’s built a special bond with his father.
“I’m glad God appointed me to be his dad,” Ronald Johnson said. “I am the youngest of eight children and have four older brothers. I think Roschon and I are similar and that’s helped us become extremely close. He’s an amazing kid.”