Does it help that Isaiah Johnson went to Sandy Creek High School? That’s the same high school that Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson went to. Yes and no would be the correct answer.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Yes, because the Lions have an idea of what kind of athlete comes out of the Tyrone, GA high school and no because Isaiah Johnson is still going to have to earn everything given to him with his undrafted free agent opportunity with Detroit.
Tech fans know Isaiah Johnson works hard at his craft and was a three-year starter at safety for the Yellow Jackets. Tech fans know that Johnson is intelligent on and off the field, having the capability to learn quickly and get things done.
There is no doubt in the minds of people who have followed Isaiah Johnson while he was playing ball in The Flats that if given the opportunity and proper circumstances, he will be able to succeed on the NFL level.
The opportunity he is receiving in Detroit has turned out to be more ideal than anyone expected.
Though the Lions are returning both of their safeties to their 2015 roster in Grover Quin and James Ihedigbo, Johnson sees an opportunity given their contract situations.
It was mentioned in an article by Tim Twentyman on detroitlions.com that Johnson is aware that Ihedigbo and back up safety Isa Abdul-Quddus are in the final years of their contracts and Isaiah Johnson even mentioned that James Ihedigbo’s current contract dispute ‘played a role in him signing with Detroit’.
Oct 25, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets safety Isaiah Johnson (1) drops into pass coverage against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Georgia Tech won 56-28. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
What Johnson displayed should be described as good business sense. Isaiah Johnson made an intelligent decision going to “Motown”. In the detroitlions.com piece, Johnson had this to say:
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell seems to think that Johnson has a strong shot at being able to carve out a spot with the team. This is what he had to say about what Johnson brings to the table in that same detroitlions.com article
“With him he’s got range and ability and he’s smart. I think he’s got pretty good upside. James (Ihedigbo) has been a significant contributor for us. He’s a talented guy and had one of his best years ever last year. So, I’m not minimizing what he’s done, he’s a talented guy, but does Isaiah have an opportunity? Yeah. As a matter of fact he gets a few more reps now. So he’s got to take advantage of that.” ”
Being able to take advantage of the situation that Johnson strategically found for himself could pay off big.
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Contract issues in the Lions defensive backfield, a head coach that sees the potential in Johnson’s ability, and the intelligence to be able to capitalize on the opportunity–seems like Isaiah Johnson found a nice situation for himself in Detroit.
It would not surprise anyone if Johnson makes the team in Detroit.
Regardless of the due-diligence that Johnson and his representation may have done before choosing Detroit, he is going to have to impress on the field to make it all worth it.
But he is truly getting a great opportunity in “Motown”.