Fatherhood gives Mississippi State RB Dillon Johnson new perspective on life

Starkville, MS. (WCBI)- On August 8th shortly after 5 PM, Bulldog running back Dillon Johnson welcomed his son, DJ, into the world.

“I cried and cried when I saw him. There’s nothing like it,” Johnson said. “You can’t describe the feeling of being a dad and I am just living in the moment right now.”

It has only been a few days, but Johnson’s whole perspective on the game, and life, has changed.

“When you feel like you have someone to feed, you work harder. You feel like you have a lot of, not pressure because I’ve been doing this my whole life, but something to fuel my fire,” Johnson said.

“Kind of messing with him now that he has that father-figure role,” Mississippi State running backs coach Jason Washington said. “Whenever I get upset, he’s sitting there and making sure I calm down. He’s kind of the second father to the group now.”

The game of football has always been an easy adjustment for Johnson. Last season he had almost 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards and five touchdowns. But the parenting adjustment has been a bit tough.

“My son doesn’t cry too much which is great but last night he was on one so I had to stay up with him. I got up in the morning with no energy but came out here and practiced hard because I know in the future he will come out here and watch me,” Johnson said.

Washington has given Johnson some key advice.

“Make sure you get your sleep, rest and the big thing is to make sure you’re present for every special moment,” Washington said. “You know, time flies quickly and he has been really good with that.”

The Bulldogs’ season gets rolling September 3rd against Memphis, and Johnson can’t wait for DJ to be there.

“Just knowing that he was there, watching his dad play in front of thousands and millions of people, there’s nothing like it and he gets to watch me grow and become a man. There’s nothing like it man.”

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