MIDWEST CITY — It’s an exciting time of year for Midwest City defensive tackle Dejai Johnson.
After all, the World Cup is only played once every four years.
Oh sure, Johnson is excited about his recent scholarship offer from the Air Force Academy, and all the summer camps that offer him the opportunity to elevate his status as a Division I football recruit.
But he’s enjoying all the soccer action, too.
“I’ve never seen soccer so enjoyable as it has been,” Johnson said. “I never really played, but I really like watching soccer.”
Johnson, who is ranked No. 29 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting ratings, played a little basketball, too, until he realized his 6-foot, 280-pound frame was better suited for the football field.
“When I played basketball, I always played down low, but I’m not really tall enough for that. Now I think I’m a point guard,” Johnson said with a laugh.
Of course, some would say Johnson isn’t tall enough to be a Division I defensive lineman either, but he’s working hard to disprove that theory.
“If he was 6-2, he’d have all kinds of offers,” Midwest City coach Darrell Hall said. “He has speed and strength most offensive linemen can’t match.”
His football intelligence and extreme focus on technique help him put to rest the size doubts.
“I really pride myself in my technique,” Johnson said. “I’m undersized, so I’ve got to use my technique and my strength to my advantage to get past bigger guys. I have to be faster than they are, stronger than they are and smarter than they are to be a step ahead of them.”
Midwest City is expected to have one of the state’s best defenses once again, and it starts up front.
“The defensive line last year was really underappreciated in our resurgence,” defensive coordinator Jason Sexton said. “The thing that makes Dejai so special is his combination of quickness, football IQ, extreme technique and his ability to play all four defensive line spots in our base defense.
“That combination makes him unblockable.”