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LIONS SELECT RB KERRYON JOHNSON WITH 2nd PICK

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DETROIT LIONS SELECT RB KERRYON JOHNSON WITH THEIR SECOND-ROUND PICK (43rd OVERALL) OF THE 2018 NFL DRAFT

The following is from his media session.

LIONS RB KERRYON JOHNSON
On what the Lions said to him when they called to select him in the second round: “Just said get ready to go to work and that’s what I’m ready to do. This is an extreme honor. It’s a great football team and I’m ready to get in and go to work.”

On what he knows about the Lions rushing attack over the past few years: “I don’t know much. The past couple years I’ve been focused on my own running game at Auburn University. I don’t know much, but I’m ready to come in and do what a running back’s supposed to do, which is run the ball and whatever’s necessary to succeed.”

On what it was like to see multiple running backs drafted before him: “That’s just the way of the draft, you know. I’m very thankful for the spot that I went in. It could be way later, it could be way earlier, who cares. I went in this spot and that’s where I was meant to go and that’s where I went. Props to those guys that got drafted just like I did. We’re all equally happy, I promise you that.”

On how playing in the Southeastern Conference prepared him for the NFL: “I think it’s the closest to the NFL. It’s not the NFL, obviously. You’re looking at the first round, you have what, 10 SEC guys or something like that go? We’ve got great talent on both sides of the ball, so the competition and the speed of the game is as close as you’re going to get to the NFL. Hopefully that helps as a learning curve and, you know, helps me to succeed at the next level.”

On how he would describe his running style: “I think every running back’s supposed to be patient. That’s how lanes develop. That’s how linemen get to their blocks, that’s how you make yards. I try to be patient until I see the hole, I go through and that’s just the way that I’ve learned running is the best. It’s just what a good running back’s supposed to do, I feel.”

On what his pre-draft visit to Detroit was like: “It was fun. It’s a nice city. My first time ever being there, my dad’s been there. Plenty of people have been there that I’ve known and I’ve heard it’s great and it was. It was really big being from Huntsville and going to Auburn. It was huge compared to what I’m used to seeing, so it was nice, bright lights and just ready to go up there and get to work.”

On why his dad visited Detroit: “He used to do business up there a long, long time ago.”

On what his dad did for a living when he was in Detroit on business: “He does basketball training now. He used to work for a bunch of different companies, been a handyman.”

On what he liked about former Lions RB Barry Sanders and what it is like to be drafted by the same team: “I mean, when you watch Barry Sanders, what’s not to like? I mean, he’s a fantastic running back, a fantastic guy. He’s extremely exciting to watch, extremely hard to tackle. I mean, it was a pleasure. I wish I was alive during that time to really get to watch him in person. He’s a fantastic, fantastic running back. And just going to the same organization as him is awesome, it’s like a dream come true. So, I’m just looking forward to doing the best I can do and giving it my all and seeing where I end up.”

On what he knows about Lions first-round pick C Frank Ragnow: “I know he’s a good player. I thought he was a good player before he went down with the injury this year and I still think he is, obviously. I’ve watched film against him leading up to that week. Like I said, I felt he was a very good player, so I’m happy about that, happy to have him in front of me along with the rest of the guys.”

On where he gets his toughness and ability to play through injuries from: “Just growing up in my household taught me that my parents don’t tolerate excuses. My siblings don’t tolerate excuses. It comes down to a point where in the season, everybody’s banged up. After the first week, you know everybody’s banged up. So, you know it’s not fair for me to try and sit out and take a week off or day off because I’m banged up. I’ve got to go to work just like everybody else.”

On if his father’s background in sports training has helped him manage his health and injuries: “It has, and then me going to college for physical therapy has helped me as well. But mostly just having other athletes in my family has helped and just being around the game has helped me. The best way to learn is through experience, so it’s been awesome.”

On some of the basketball players his father has trained: “He’s worked with a ton of guys from our Huntsville area. I mean, he’s worked with my brother. He’s worked with a guy named Levi Randolph. He’s worked with a guy named Joshua Langford. I mean, he’s worked with countless guys in the Huntsville area that’ve came from there. It’s just what he’s always loved to do is basketball training.”

On if the Lions finishing last in rushing in the NFL in 2017 gives him extra motivation: “I’m happy to be a piece of anybody’s puzzle. I’m ready to come in and work. That’s what I feel like this organization loves to do is work. That’s what everybody knows Detroit for, being a hardworking city and I’m looking forward to stepping in that and doing the same.”

On if there is any running back in the NFL he feels he runs similar to: “Now that I’m in the NFL, I just feel like I run the most like myself. I try to play the game how I think it should be played and I hold myself to that standard. I just run and I do things just the way I want to.”

On how well he knows Michigan State basketball guard Joshua Langford: “I’ve known Josh for forever. So, obviously he’s told me about the weather up there. But he’s loved it up there. Ever since he moved up there, he’s loved it up there. Now we’ll be much closer to each other, so we’ll actually get to see each other.”

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