Johnson gives back with camp

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Former Andalusia Bulldog standout and University of Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson wants to give back to the children and recently he held his first “No Player Left Behind” Football and Life Clinic at Dothan High School.

Johnson was a Parade All-American during his senior season at Andalusia before going to the University of Alabama.

While at Alabama, Johnson was a part of three national championship teams.

He was then drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, and spent three seasons playing in the NFL.

“This was something that Tim Watson and I wanted to do,” Johnson said. “He works at Hometown Lenders of Dothan, and I’ve gotten to know a lot of the kids in the this area through him.”

Johnson that he just wants to give these kids something to look forward to during the summer.

“We wanted to change the culture around here,” Johnson said. “These kids think they won’t every get looked at, but we want to show them that most of the time if you put in the hard work, you are going to be rewarded.”

During the camp, Johnson said they taught a lot of fundamentals of the game.

“It was mainly fundamentals,” Johnson said. “Depending on the age group, we did different things. With the youngest group, we just tried to let them have fun and taught some very basic fundamentals. The middle group was a little more fundamentals and some drills. With the high school kids, we went over a little bit of everything.”

Johnson said that all three groups also had a 7-on-7 competition during the camp.

“It was a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. They were eager to learn and they weren’t afraid of hard work.”

There were nearly 80 campers that showed up for the event, Johnson said.

“We had a bigger turnout than we expected,” Johnson said. “This was kind of a rush job. We just had a few weeks to get it together, but we still had good turnout. Next year, will be a lot better and I will hopefully have some other players to come help coach the camp.”

Johnson said that a big reason for the camp was to raise money for the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center.

“Everything that we made from this camp is going to the Child Advocacy Center,” Johnson said. “They help out a lot of these kids here that might come from abusive homes. A big reason for doing this was to give back to the community.”

Johnson said that the camp will change locations each year.

“It’s not going to be a stationary camp,” Johnson said. “I’m going to keep it around the Wiregrass and Covington County. I think we have something special with this and I hope it continues to grow. Next year, we will have more time to get everything together.”