During fall camp, ODUSports.com featured one Monarch a day in a "Get to Know Your Monarchs" segment. That will continue during the season, as we get to know senior defensive end, Alex Johnson.
Alex Johnson/DE/New Canton, Va.
Q. What are your words of advice for some of the freshman on the team? To take it one play at a time and don’t think that you have to make every play by yourself. You have to depend on your other teammates. Like Coach Wilder says: ‘do your 1/11’.
Q. What was the most memorable moment of playing for ODU these past four years? I would say every home game being sold out.
Q. What is one of your most embarrassing moments either in practice or in a game? When I first got here you have your welcome to college football moment. It was an inside drill and I was coming down the line of scrimmage and I got blindsided by James Edwards. That was my welcome to college football moment.”
Q. Who do you feel has mentored you the most over these last four years? I would say the past guys like Chad King, Ronnie Cameron, Eddie McClam, all those guys.
Q. What do you feel is going to be the biggest challenge for the team to overcome during the game against Howard? I would say just doing your assignments. It just takes one guy not doing his 1/11 and that pretty much breaks down the defense.
Q. What have you learned from these past two games against ECU and Maryland? I learned that we play at a fast pace but their pace is faster. Their offense plays pretty fast believe it or not.
Q. How will the fans impact your game during the home opener? They help us get pumped up with their big stadium atmosphere. I think that has helped us get our mind right for the game Saturday.
Q. What improvements do you feel you have made personally from week one to week two? I’d say play recognition.
Q. What was a memorable piece of advice given to you during your career as a defensive end at ODU? Always keep a positive mental attitude.
Q. With ECU’s stadium holding 50,000 fans and Maryland’s able to accommodate 52,000, what was it like playing with that kind of energy surrounding you? It’s unexplainable! Coming out of the locker room at ECU and seeing the most people I’ve ever played in front of. As a player and as a competitor you live for moments like that.
Q. How do you feel you’ve grown and transformed as a player from your first year in 2010 to now? The first year I went out and I was just starting to get into playing, I really didn’t know what I was doing. It didn’t really hit me until my second and third and now fourth season when the veteran guys started leaving and I became that veteran guy.
Q. What are you plans after you graduate? Will you continue to be involved in football? I plan to be a coach or would love to be a sports agent.
Q. To date, what has been one of your favorite football games to play in and why? I would say the UNH game. That was probably the craziest game I have ever been a part of. The back and forth, being down by so many points at halftime and then coming back to win. It gives you hope when you’re playing teams like ECU and Maryland when we were down so much. It teaches you to never give up.
Q. Growing up, who were some players or people in general that you looked up to? I definitely looked up to Brett Favre, I’m a real big Green Bay Packers fan, so I looked up to Brett Favre the most.
Q. What got you interested in football? I was in third grade and my sister was a cheerleader and I went to one of her practices and two of my friends play. I wasn’t in sports at the time. When I got there my friend Travis challenged me to a race, and I beat him by far and the football coach saw that and got me to start playing. I’ve been playing ever since.
Q. What advice would you give to yourself as a young football player? To always stay positive and don’t beat yourself up. There’s always another play.
Q. Did you ever play any other sports growing up? I played basketball, ran track, cross country and I played football all throughout high school. I think that playing those sports really helped with my stamina in my college football career.
Q. When you came from high school to playing in college what was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you over come that? The biggest challenge had to be the speed. Coming from my high school back home everyone was good and then coming here, everyone is equally good but everyone is just much faster.
Q. What is your favorite drill in practice? I really like practice so everything is pretty much a favorite. Everyday is an opportunity to get better. Being a senior I only have a few games left so I cherish every moment.
Q. How do your teammates push you to become a better person and a better player? Right now I’m the second oldest guy on the team so all the young kids call me Old Man Buck. So I find that I get encouragement from the coaches and the players.
Q. What was the most appealing thing about ODU during the recruiting process? I really like the diversity of the people here and I definitely love that it’s so close to the beach! Where I’m from, Buckingham County, we only have 16,000 people total. It’s crazy but my whole town could fit in our stadium here at ODU.
Q. What is your favorite part of game day? I love the Monarch Walk, just getting to see the fans and the smiles on their faces.
Q. Where has been your favorite place to play an away game? James Madison. That crowd there is pretty crazy. I think that was the second biggest crowd I’ve played in front of, before ECU and Maryland.
Q. Do you have any pregame rituals? I like to get away from everybody and read scriptures that my mother has given me, she’s a pastor.
Q. What is one thing you’d like to say to all the 12th Monarchs out there? We love you guys!