• 84°

Nico’s grandmother reflects on grandson’s interception

Alabama sophomore linebacker Nico Johnson (35) grabs the interception pass from Trey Burton Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide beat the Florida Gators, 31-6. | Amelia J. Brackin/UA Athletics

Mary Jean Johnson is one happy grandmother. She, along with 101,821 of her “closest friends” knew exactly what destroyed all of Florida’s momentum Saturday night when Trey Burton attempted a jump pass in the first quarter.

“I knew it was him, I knew it,” she said about her grandson, Alabama sophomore linebacker Nico Johnson. The interception catch in the end zone for what sports enthusiasts call the game’s turning point.

The Crimson Tide went on to rout Florida 31-6, only allowing two field goals on defense. The last time Florida didn’t score a touchdown in a game was its last meeting against Alabama in 2005.

Johnson, who sat at the 50-yard line with her daughter and son-in-law, Sonya and Oscar McAdory, said her experience at the game gave her a “boost.” Johnson is diabetic, and is confined to a wheelchair.

“It was great,” she said. “I enjoyed it. We could see real good from where I was at.”

Johnson said she thought about Nico’s mother and her daughter, Mamie, who died earlier this year due to an extended illness, when Nico intercepted the pass.

“I know she was looking down on him,” she said. “I know she was really proud of her son.”

For Nico, making the interception was just his part of helping his team to victory.

“I was like, ‘wow, this is what it feels like to make a big play in a big time game,'” he said. “I was just glad I could help my team out.”

Nico ended up with two tackles, one solo and one assist for the game in addition to the interception.

Mary Jean says she hopes to go to many more home games this season to watch Nico play.

“I just love to see my grandson play for Alabama,” she said. “He’s a great boy, and a great young man.”Mary Jean Johnson is one happy grandmother. She, along with 101,821 of her “closest friends” knew exactly what destroyed all of Florida’s momentum Saturday night when Trey Burton attempted a jump pass in the first quarter.

“I knew it was him, I knew it,” she said about her grandson, Alabama sophomore linebacker Nico Johnson. The interception catch in the end zone for what sports enthusiasts call the game’s turning point.

The Crimson Tide went on to rout Florida 31-6, only allowing two field goals on defense. The last time Florida didn’t score a touchdown in a game was its last meeting against Alabama in 2005.

Johnson, who sat at the 50-yard line with her daughter and son-in-law, Sonya and Oscar McAdory, said her experience at the game gave her a “boost.” Johnson is diabetic, and is confined to a wheelchair.

“It was great,” she said. “I enjoyed it. We could see real good from where I was at.”

Johnson said she thought about Nico’s mother and her daughter, Mamie, who died earlier this year due to an extended illness, when Nico intercepted the pass.

“I know she was looking down on him,” she said. “I know she was really proud of her son.”

For Nico, making the interception was just his part of helping his team to victory.

“I was like, ‘wow, this is what it feels like to make a big play in a big time game,'” he said. “I was just glad I could help my team out.”

Nico ended up with two tackles, one solo and one assist for the game in addition to the interception.

Mary Jean says she hopes to go to many more home games this season to watch Nico play.

“I just love to see my grandson play for Alabama,” she said. “He’s a great boy, and a great young man.”