During his final year on campus, former Frogs safety Tejay Johnson doesn’t want to be recognized solely as a football player. The senior wants colleagues to perceive him as a leader who continues to give back to campus life.
“I never wanted people to assume that I was a football player,” Johnson said. I’ve always had a passion for helping others. I know where I came from and how I got here. It was that need, want and desire to give back that always played a big role in my life.”
But Johnson credits his achievements to two key teammates on his football squad. Juniors Johnny Fobbs and Greg McCoy were instrumental to Johnson’s life as a Horned Frog.
“They kept me focused and kept my drive going,” Johnson said. “Whenever I was down and had pressure built up on me, they were always there to calm me down. Those two kept my ground and really gave me an outlook on life.”
Fobbs and McCoy talked about how Johnson has encouraged many players and African-Americans at TCU with his success.
“The guy’s a great person to be around,” McCoy said. “Tejay has always led and people always tend to follow. He has been a major influence and got me involved.”
Fobbs added, “Tejay is not a one-dimensional person. He’s gotten involved in many campus activities that have made him better as a player.”
The success Johnson had on the field guided him to play a leadership role off the field. It was always about getting involved in a myriad of campus organizations, he said.
Johnson has shown commitment to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the university’s gospel choir, Black Senior Weekend program and TCU Access Granted.
“My freshman year I didn’t get involved much,” Johnson said. “I just played football and went to class. Toward the end of my freshman year, I started noticing things and knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I started getting to know people who weren’t athletes.”
One of Johnson’s main aspirations was to help boost the diversity on campus his sophomore year with the Black Senior Weekend program. He has served on its committee ever since. The South Garland High School graduate attended programs that led to intellectual conversations about things other than sports entertainment.
“I wanted to be in the eyes of the TCU community,” Johnson said. “I wanted to stand out, and I’ve felt success in doing that. It was challenging to balance sports and several organizations that I was a part of and held leadership positions.”
With more than 41 Division I football scholarship offers his junior year in high school, Johnson said he chose TCU for his collegiate career. He started his sophomore, junior and senior seasons at safety.
The 6-foot-1-inch safety ranked third on the team in 2010 with 66 tackles. The Frogs led the nation in total defense for the third straight season with 232.2 yards allowed 8212; all three years Johnson has been a starter.
Johnson was also named one of the three finalists for the 2010 Jim Thorpe Award by the Jim Thorpe Award Screening Committee, which annually recognizes the nation’s best college defensive back.
Johnson talked about his potential to enter the NFL Combine, but he said football would not be in his future.
Johnson is particularly interested in leaving TCU with a degree in habilitation of the deaf and hard of hearing with minors in education and in social work.
“I think mainly TCU will help me with the magnitude of the name [Texas Christian University] on a degree,” Johnson said. “The networking, connections and relationships with the people I’ve built here will help me and extend my luck in the future.”