Johnson continues to make Selma proud

Published 6:32 pm Saturday, December 27, 2014

One of Selma’s own is making the city proud on one of our country’s biggest stages. NFL star and Dallas County High School graduate Michael Johnson gives us all plenty to brag about with his on field exploits. Even in a down year for his defensive stats, he’s regarded as one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL.

But it’s really what he’s doing off the field that should make us truly proud.

Outside of Santa Claus, it was probably hard to find anybody giving back during the holiday season more than Johnson.

Email newsletter signup

During Thanksgiving weekend, he welcomed 40 students from Selma and Dallas County to Tampa for a game and a weekend of fun. When the game ended — a tough loss to his former team — he made sure to take time to see the students and take whatever pictures they might want and sign autographs.

For Christmas, he and other Buccaneers defensive linemen came together to hold shopping sprees for children and needy families. Each family was allotted $500, which could be used for anything from household items to Christmas presents.

Because of Johnson’s generosity, many children were able to have the Christmas morning they were dreaming about.

Those in Selma are familiar with his youth football and cheer camp, which is held during the spring each year. He also traditionally hosts a funfest in the summer, where kids can play games and have fun with a guy who has proven that if you dream big and work hard, anything is possible.

Johnson is a tremendous role model for the youth of Dallas County.

Other cities have NFL stars and many of them give back to the community where they grew up, but at the same time many don’t. Johnson not only gives back to students at Dallas County, but to all of the high schools in our county.

He understands his position as a role model and seems to shine through again and again.

Without any playoff hopes, Johnson and the Buccaneers will play their final NFL game of the season Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. We encourage everyone in Dallas County to cheer him on the same way he’s inspiring our local youth and helping those in our community prosper.