Steelers FB Will Johnson Strives To Be As Athletic As 49ers TE Vernon Davis

The latest video on steelers.com features a day in the life of Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Will Johnson and in it, the undrafted player out of West Virginia talks about how he is always striving to be as good athletically as San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

“I figured I would write everyone\’s names – I would take a great player and past people from combines that had good numbers and the guy I chose is Vernon Davis, a guy I studied a lot and watched on Youtube,” said Johnson. “I wrote all of his combine numbers up and I taped them on the bathroom door so every morning I woke up and walked to the restroom, I would see those numbers and say, \’I\’m going to get close to them or I\’m going to beat them.\'”

While Johnson will likely never match several of the numbers that Davis posted during the 2006 NFL Combine, he did improve his forty-yard dash and bench numbers that he posted at his own 2011 pro day when he showed up for the Mountaineers 2012 pro day That 2012 performance led to the Steelers signing him immediately to their offseason roster last spring.

“When I got done running my routes, I was over there talking to [Tomlin], and he wanted me to keep it a secret so the other teams didn\’t know,” Johnson said in a March 2012 interview. “They said they liked what I did, they liked how I look, and they wanted to bring me up and sign me.”

Johnson was one of the several undrafted college players who got lost in the wash in 2011 thanks to the lockout taking place, and he certainly beat the odds by getting himself signed a year later.

Johnson certainly didn\’t disappoint during his rookie season as he registered 15 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown in addition to being an adequate lead blocker in the Steelers backfield.

Moving forward into 2013, Johnson is a virtual lock to make the 53 man roster this year and general manager Kevin Colbert gushed about him during an interview this past spring at the 2013 NFL Combine.

“Will Johnson did a great job for us,” Colbert said during his February media session. “We signed Will out of the West Virginia pro day last year as a free agent, a fullback candidate, and quite honestly, he exceeded our expectations. We didn\’t know what he was going to be able to do because he really didn\’t do much of what we asked him to do at West Virginia. He was more of backside-move, kind of tight end. In our situation, he became a traditional fullback and did a great job, so we\’re hoping he can continue it.”

Johnson says that he is working out with former Steelers tight end Jerame Tuman at Crossfit Raw in Pittsburgh as he prepares for training camp to begin later this month.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Now that’s a good video..for those who haven’t seen it, his ‘Crossfit – How bad do you want it’ videos are pretty cool. I love this guy clawing his way back to the NFL, hard worker and well spoken kid, impressive athlete. He should only get better in his 2nd year.. definitely a player to watch.. definitely a Steeler

  • TJimmy

    Another undrafted steal for the Steelers. He should only get better.

  • JohnnyV1

    Some guys get it (Will Johnson), some guys don’t (Jonathan Dwyer). Gotta put the work in.

  • Terrence

    I remember watching “The How Bad Do You Want It” video for the first time and I was amazed. You can tell his motivation and work ethic is Tier 1. His best years are coming and he will play a significant role in this years offense. Great Day in The Life video!

  • Douglas Andrews

    Crossfit is a tough workout I watched some of Will’s video’s and he is pretty impressive. J Dwyer is kind of a mystery as to why a guy wouldn’t get himself into better shape. He had injuries last year he took his self out of games because of his conditioning and this is essentially a contract year for him. Time will tell but you gotta wonder why he doesn’t quite get it. I like him he has a lot of talent but with the way his weight fluctuates he is his own worst enemy!

  • Terrence

    Here goes another Cross Fit video dedicated to Will Johnson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjzi-AHdLjw

  • dgh57

    Will Johnson has it down pat where it counts the most and that’s the mental aspect of the game(are you listening J. Dwyer). His training in this video and the preseason will help in the physical part of the game. Heart and desire can take a player a long way and he started showing it last year. Haley’s offense with the emphasis on the short passing game and the use of the RBs in it will bring out the best in Will Johnson this season!

  • dgh57

    I totally agree!

  • Intropy

    Awesome. This guy takes his job seriously, and it seems that he loves what he does. Did you see all that Steelers stuff in his house? I think I have half a dozen t-shirts and a couple of mugs from my workplace in my house.

  • Matt Searls

    I feel like he could be a good tight end

  • ATL96STEELER

    That was a good video indeed…looks like he could be a player like Moose was for DAL back in the day…block, and catch passes. Hopefully he can stay healthy.

  • Stevie

    Woodley’s needs to work out and stay in shape. You can lead a Horse to water,, but ya can’t make him drink.

  • Stevie

    I find it cool that Tomlin talked to Will at Mountaineer pro day and told him they liked him and wanted to sign him. It shows the personal side to Tomlin that not many of us know.

  • Brendon Glad

    He did nothing but impress me. He’s an example why August is always so fun for Steelers Nation. I LOVE watching the inevitable 1-5 UFA-rookies who claw their way onto the team…(or practice squad, then later the team), during August.
    What surprised me the most was the pass-receiving ability. Soft hands, can adjust to somewhat inaccurate throws…definitely a keeper. And good to see the FB back in the mix on the team. I think it will show even better benefits this season, now that they all have a year under their belts with Haley.