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3 things to know about safety Jaquan Johnson

JAQUAN-JOHNSON

The Buffalo Bills drafted an aggressive safety in Jaquan Johnson from Miami. He was the 181st pick in the sixth round.

Here are three things to know about the newest Bill:

1. Heart and soul

Miami defensive coordinator called Jaquan Johnson “the heart and soul” of the Hurricanes defense as a junior. Johnson was named one of just four defensive players among 15 semifinalists for the 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

“The guy is unbelievable,’’ Diaz said “He’s the heart and soul of our secondary. When you need a guy to make a play, that’s the guy. That’s the guy.

“I’ve been jumping up and down on this Jaquan Johnson bandwagon for a while now. It’s neat that he made the plays that sort of the untrained eye can see, the obvious spectacular plays,’’ Diaz said. “Because the plays that he’s been making that have maybe been going unnoticed have been just as important. You just can’t be good in college football anymore without great safety play, because the No. 1 thing we’ve done all year in not giving up points is we don’t give up long touchdowns.”

2. NFL roots

Johnson was a four-star recruit before committing to Miami from Miami-Killian High but he wasn’t the first member of his family to attend The U as a football player.

Johnson’s cousin is current Houston Texans running back and 2018 Pro Bowler Lamar Miller.

Johnson was a four-time All-Dade First Team selection and competed in the 2015 US Army All-American Bowl and chose Miami over schools like Florida State, Florida, Alabama, LSU and South Carolina.

3. Rough beginnings

Johnson is the fourth of seven children raised in his house. He remembers days when he would open the refrigerator and would have nothing to eat. The only meals he said were the free breakfasts and lunches at school.

“My mom tried her best,” Jaquan said. “Even if we didn’t have food, she would give up eating. People think, ‘Oh that was tough.’ But we really didn’t think of it like that. I just thought it was normal. I thought it was life. Now looking back, it wasn’t normal, but it was the way we lived.”

Johnson moved to live with his former flag football coach John Phillips and his commitment to Miami was because of an allegiance he had to his hometown and for the Hurricanes making him feel like family.

With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, follow along with the Buffalo Bills to find out which players the team selects. Bills draft coverage is presented by ECMC.

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