EIU's Johnson headed to FCS Bowl in Daytona Beach

EIU's Johnson headed to FCS Bowl in Daytona Beach
Eastern Illinois running back Isaiah Johnson (23) will play in the upcoming FCS Bowl. (photo courtesy of Sandy King, EIU Athletics)

The leading rusher for Eastern Illinois will participate in the upcoming FCS Bowl in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"(It's) the opportunity to be able to suit up one more time and play another game but in front of scouts that can potentially get us an opportunity at the next level," Johnson told Prairie State Pigskin.

Johnson led the Panthers with 708 yards on 99 carries (7.2 per attempt average) and scored seven touchdowns this past season.


Johnson,  a Clarksville, Tenn., native who played at EIU the last two seasons, enjoyed his finest game with a 187-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 52-21 triumph over Austin Peay on Senior Day at O'Brien Field.  Johnson added six receptions for 26 yards and 12 return yards to finish with 225 all-purpose yards in that game.

"My greatest strength as a running back is my strength and balance when running the ball. (I) always feel like I can make the first guy miss or break their tackle," Johnson said. "What I improved most on in my college career was becoming a receiving back. My hands felt more reliable this year than they have any other year in this Air Raid Offense."

Johnson caught 30 passes for 215 yards, numbers up significantly from his 11 receptions for 56 yards in 2017.

 The FCS Bowl began in 2014 when it was played at Florida International University. The annual post-season college football all-star game was moved to Daytona Beach Stadium, home to FCS Bethune-Cookman. This year's game is scheduled for Dec. 9.

The bowl's website states:  "The National Bowl and FCS Bowl all star weekend for Non-FBS schools has been the only games of its kind to attract numerous NFL and CFL scouts."

Johnson said, "What I’m hoping for in the FCS Bowl is to just be able to showcase my ability and add more recognition to my football resume.

"Before the season started a few NFL scouts came and asked my position coach and strength coach about me, but the only team I personally talked to one-on-one was the Arizona Cardinals. One arena league team asked if I would be interested if I don’t get camp invitation anywhere."




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