PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Midland Legacy’s Damien Johnson

Johnson ran 19 times for 201 yards and three touchdowns in Legacy’s 39-31 win over Converse Judson.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:11 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Damien Johnson is a three-year starter at defensive back for Midland Legacy High School.

“He’s one of those kids, nobody dislikes him,” LHS Head Coach Clint Hartman said. “He’d take the shirt off his back to help you. He’s always got a big smile. He’s just an overall great kid.”

In Legacy’s scrimmages and first few games, the Rebels would sneak their defensive star in for a few plays on offense.

There is no more secret after last Friday.

Johnson ran for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns on 19 carries in a 39-31 win over Converse Judson. He also scored a touchdown on a 79-yard kickoff return that pushed Legacy ahead 29-25 in the third quarter. Johnson had two kickoff returns for 116 yards.

It turns out Johnson is a pretty good running back.

“I’ve always known I was one,” Johnson said. “I was [a running back] in Louisiana before I moved out here. It feels natural. It feels like instincts. Scoring touchdowns is my main goal. It’s what I’ve done all my life.”

“We’ve had good backs around here,” Hartman said. “Josh Traylor, Makhylin Young, we can go through the list. We said ‘Can he be one of those guys?’ I think he answered the question last week.

Johnson has received FCS and Division II interest to play college football, but the transition to running back seems to have unlocked something.

“After that game I had 20 phone calls from different colleges,” Hartman said. “They’re looking at him and asking ‘What position is he?’ and I say he’s both. Whatever the best opportunity for him is, we’re gonna try to help him get it.”

When asked whether he prefers offense or defense, Johnson hesitated, not wanting to upset anyone on either side of the ball, before saying defense.

“I’ve adapted to it over the past couple years,” he said.

Wherever he lines up, Johnson gives the Rebels a shot at their 6th straight district title, and more.

“We’ve already got a good quarterback,” Hartman said. “We’ve got great receivers. I’m excited to see where this takes our offense.”

“Wherever the team needs me, that’s where they can plug me in,” Johnson said. “I look forward to contributing, and just being the best version of myself.”

Legacy is off this Friday, and opens district play on Friday October 6 at home against Wolfforth Frenship.