Josiah Johnson is the type of friend everyone wants to have. As one of the happiest and most lively people around, he always makes an effort to spread joy in the lives of others. People are naturally drawn to his extroverted and gregarious nature. One of the most impressive traits about Josiah is his ability to remain positive during challenging times; his journey has been anything but easy.
While in the third grade, Josiah excitedly made his way to the pool along with his father and brother. Upon arrival, they realized the pool was closed because the lifeguards failed to show up. It put a small damper on his mood, but not for long. To their right, they noticed football signups.
With nothing else to do, he made the split-second decision to tryout. Immediately, he stood out to all of the coaches. Josiah managed to beat everyone in the warm up lap (wearing crocs) and then proceeded to dominate the competition. It was the first time he ever played, but he knew from that moment on, football would be a key component in his life.
“Putting on the helmet instantly made me fall in love,” he says.
Josiah’s journey as a varsity athlete continues to test his commitment and desire to work for what he wants. He is fortunate to play for a very successful team, with 11 state championships and multiple runner-ups. Bolles’ former head coach, Corky Rogers, has one of the best winning records of all time. These reasons together make Josiah confident that his team is the best. However, he has yet to be the leader of the team.
For the past three years, Josiah found himself behind Alabama early-enrollee, Mac Jones, on the depth chart. When Josiah does make it on the field, his impact is felt. The crowd sat in awe two seasons ago when they witnessed the first pass he completed on varsity - a 60-yard touchdown pass.
Even though he worked hard, day in and day out, to win the starting job, it never happened. Mac remained the starting quarterback throughout the season. Strangely enough, Josiah benefited from the situation. The time and effort he spent working out, practicing, and studying improved his overall game and working to beat out Mac made him a better competitor. He also had the opportunity of learning under one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.
“I learned from all of his accomplishments and mistakes. I studied and learned from a great quarterback mind,” says Josiah.
Josiah exhibits many qualities that make him an elite athlete. At 6’5” and 203 pounds, he is stable in the pocket, mobile with unanticipated speed, and benefits from great field perspective. Mentally, he is a strong competitor who thrives in competitive scenarios – he is ready to beat out anyone coming after the spot he wants. Josiah’s spiritual strength also affects who he is as an athlete.
“As a Christ follower, I have a joy and peace no one can take from me,” he says.
When pressure comes, whether it is during a big game or an unanticipated event, this helps keep him calm. In addition, having Christ as a light in his life enables him to be a light among others.
His leadership abilities came into play this past winter. Midway through basketball season, one of his teammates and closest friends took his own life. Suddenly, while experiencing one of the hardest tragedies, Josiah had to muster up enough strength to lead his team. It was difficult, but they put their emotions aside and united together to play in honor of their lost teammate.
Josiah has the perfect balance of physicality, mental capability, and strong spirituality that athletes dream of obtaining.
Because Mac started over him, Josiah’s film is very limited. This has lead to a rather slow recruitment process. The inability to show off his skills makes the process stressful and taxing. Many schools have reached out and promised to keep an eye on him this upcoming season, but they are not confident enough to extend any offers just yet. Over the difficult past few months, Josiah says he is more aware of the importance of patience.
With another season and entire school year left, there is plenty of time to consider the options. By this time next year, Josiah wants to be committed to a team that will help him achieve his goals: win the Heisman Trophy and a national championship, and then play in the NFL.
Only a few months remain until football season kicks off. For Josiah, this will be his last season of high school and he intends to make his mark. This year, he wants to win a state championship, have 16 or more offers to allow him the choice of best fit, and win Mr. Football Florida along with other awards. A verse Josiah lives by, Philippians 4:13, reminds him to never lose sight of these goals.
Josiah’s journey to this point in life has been far from picture-perfect. Nothing was handed to him, whether it is offers or awards. God has put him in situations that challenged him, both on and off the field, but for good reason.
The adversity made Josiah the person he is today – strong, driven, focused, and emotionally mature – exactly the type of young man every school wants their quarterback to resemble.
Josiah’s Advice: To work hard, earn everything cause nothing is just given, and not to worry about what everyone says about you because you control your destiny.