Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Q&A: Taurus Johnson, WR, USF

This is from a "Player Spotlight" interview conducted by Daniel Mogollon on All Access Football Radio. Click to listen to the interview in it's entirety.

Last season you had 38 receptions for 498 yards, and you found the end zone 12 times through the air and another three on the ground. After this month you will be on an NFL team, and you will be a college graduate. How fast do you want these days to come-and-go?

I want them to come like tomorrow…(laughs)…But I know it’s a waiting process. I’m a very patient person, but you know I’m just trying to focus on school and work out a little bit. Like I said, I’m trying to graduate in May. I’m trying to take all my exams early so by the end of the Draft I can go wherever I go and focus on that.

Then it will all be about business at that point… So tell us, the last time we had you on it was before your Pro Day, before your Combine. How was that experience? Especially the Combine, it’s certainly an once-in-a-lifetime experience. What were those three or four days like in Indianapolis?

It was unbelievable, you know, because people that you invite to the Combine are hardcore players. It was a great opportunity to be there and to represent for our school, as well as our family. You know getting to meet the other players like Josh Freeman or Nate Davis, and things like that, it was crazy. It was great going in and talking to the coaches, the scouts, the G.M.’s. It was crazy packed with people. I had a great time. It was definitely an once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was all fun.

You brought up a couple of quarterbacks there in Josh Freeman and Nate Davis. Are those guys you caught balls from? Which quarterback kind of stood out for you?

Nate Davis is the one that I train with down at Saddle Brook. He was here the whole time. He and I were talking and getting together, we were throwing and working at the same time, you know, kind of trying to build a relationship. Who knows, he could be my quarterback at the next level. The people that stood out were Josh Freeman from Kansas State, and Nate Davis, and Pat White, and Brian Hoyer from Michigan State. I mean, those guys did a heck of a job. Like I said, Nate and I got together, that was the first time I’ve met him and then we started throwing together and we worked hard. He was saying, “You know, we could be playing on the same team.” You never know. It was fun, you know, we had a good-old time. We worked hard to get where we are now, and now we just have to wait for Draft day.

Can you let us in on some of the teams that have been talking to you? Which teams do you get a sense are kind of showing the most interest?

Um, May 30th, Dedric Ward, the wide receiver coach from Kansas City, is going to come down here and work me out. (Changed to April 1st) I have a Tampa Bay Buccaneers workout April 15th. I know the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams…um…San Francisco, Pittsburgh… have been showing me a lot of interest. I am going to get myself ready for Coach Ward down at Kansas City because he’s going to work me out. So I’m really excited about that, as well as getting to work out with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So I’m getting myself prepared for those two crucial workouts. I’m excited about that.

I know the stock answer is always, ‘I’m happy to go anywhere, whoever takes me’, but would it be cool to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? I mean, you probably already have your favorite spots on that field, right?

Oh yeah, because you know I have played here for the past four years, you know being in the NFL scene and the NFL atmosphere. It’s really fun. It would be nice to stay in Tampa Bay. Being able to be close to my family, everybody could come see me play. But I really don’t have a choice, so whatever team calls I’ll be ready to go, and I’ll be happy with it, too.

Were you a Bucs fan growing up? Who did you root for in football?

I was a Cowboys fan, you know, Emmitt Smith, Deion (Sanders), Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman. You know, I was a Cowboy’s fan growing up.

America’s Team…

Yeah…(laughs)…Yes sir.

Now let’s shift gears a little bit. I know you were a little bit of a baseball player in high school, you played some center field I believe, and did a little pitching. I already know who your favorite team is the Atlanta Braves–unfortunately, considering that I am a big time New York Met fan. Talk about being a baseball fan growing up… Which sport did you like as a fan growing up, and even now?

I played baseball and I played football. But football is definitely my first love, but second was baseball. My mom put me into it, you know, and I kind of just excelled going into high school. But at the same time, I love baseball, I love playing center field, I love pitching too. Growing up I watched the Atlanta Braves, you know, Andruw Jones, John Smoltz, and Chipper Jones as well. They had some great guys on that team. My mom wanted me to go to college, because I would be the first in my family to graduate from college, so she told me to stick with that and play football. I miss playing baseball a little bit, but I know I made the right choice by coming to college and playing football.

Taurus, you're a Sociology major, so talk to me my man–I’m sure this topic must have come up a lot in your classes—what are your thoughts on the impact of Barack Obama winning the election?

I mean it was crazy. I remember when he won the race and I was here at my apartment. Next thing you know, I hear everybody from my apartment screaming and people out here running in the streets. Everybody was getting together and hugging. It was very powerful, like, you know, having your first black president, is pretty cool. It’s pretty awesome, just for me, being here to witness that, it was pretty amazing.

Did you vote? Was this your first election?

Yeah...Yes, sir.

Taurus, before we let you go we like to close things out–as you know already–with a segment we call three-and-out where I hit you with three quick questions… so… First down: Who is somebody, it can be from all-time, in a one-on-one match-up, who is a guy you would like to have cover you and you beat him?

I’d probably say Deion Sanders.

How come Deion?

Deion, you know, Deion’s got the make-up speed…(laughs)…to do anything. It definitely would be a good match-up, I would love to go against Deion. You know, Deion is one of the greatest corners, and players of all-time in the NFL, as well as Darrell Green.

Going old school there with Darrell Green, I like that…Second Down: Being that you were a pitcher, if you could face anybody on the mound and strike them out, who would it be?

Oh my god, that’s tough…Ken Griffey.

Ken Griffey…OK …your favorite player and you want to strike him out…I thought you were going to say Jose Reyes since you know I’m a Mets fan.

(Laughs) Yeah…(laughs)

Third Down: Biggie or Tupac?


Photo Credit: USF Athletics Communications, GoUSFBulls.com