NFL vet Johnson returns home for camp

RISON — NFL free agent and Rison native Tyrell Johnson returned to his hometown on Saturday to host a football camp, which was held at Rison High School.

“It is wonderful,” Johnson said. “It means a lot.

“The kids really love it, the parents love it. It feels amazing to give back to the community.”

Johnson, an Arkansas State alum, said the importance of the camp is teach the young men the right “intangibles.”

“As far as leadership, confidence and having a foundation,” Johnson said. “Without those, you aren’t going to make it too far in life.

“It takes more to be successful in whatever you are doing.”

Rison head coach Clay Totty said he was happy to host Johnson’s camp.

“It means an awful lot,” Totty said. “Our kids look up to him and they may listen to him when they don’t listen to us.”

Johnson spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before he was placed on injured reserve in 2011. He started in all 15 games in 2009, where he had 48 tackles and one interception.

He signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2012 but was released during the preseason in August of that same year. He played four games with the Detroit Lions in 2012.

“I don’t know if my time is up,” Johnson said. “If somebody calls me, I’ll be ready to go.

“With the NFL, it is back and forth. They just string you a long. If they need you, they’ll call you. So it is just a waiting game.”

Johnson is currently working for the D1 Sports Training center in Little Rock.

Totty said Johnson gives kids from the Southeast Arkansas area hope.

“It allows them to dream,” Totty said. “Just because you are from a small town, doesn’t mean you won’t reach the top of your profession.”