Jaimel Johnson was named 8th grade Born to Compete Offensive Player of the Year this past month after an outstanding 2017 season on the gridiron. The 6’0 175lb class of 2022 running back is a special athlete that led Fort Middle School in Columbus to an undefeated season. Johnson has taken over many games this past season for the Patriots. His athletic ability combined the speed, size and strength paved their way to a championship season. Johnson finished with over 800 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground this season. In addition, Johnson played outside linebacker and contributed defensively forcing multiple fumbles on a defense giving up less than three points per game.
Johnson has been a leader for the Fort Middle School football program. As a leader, Johnson knew what it would take for his team to achieve their season goals. “Last year we went to the championship game and lost by six points. So we were hungry this year, we wanted to win it all, we were ready to get back there,” explained Johnson.
“Our very first game against East Columbus we set the tone. I picked us up when our backup running back went down with an injury. I remember a play where I a cut across the field and went over 50 yards on a run. One play, I ran through the middle and was dragging defenders on my back for nearly thirty yards, I’ll never forget that play,” Johnson told proudly.
Fort Middle School accomplished their redemption goal in November as the Patriots defeated Richards Middle 20-6 to win their first league championship since 1994. Johnson finished the championship game with 13 carries, 122 yards, and a touchdown. His three yard touchdown run in the second half capped off Fort’s undefeated season.
Johnson will attend Northside High School next fall in Columbus. “I met the offensive coordinator and I fit in well with their system. He said I may be able to come in and play right away to help the team,, said Johnson. “I just like to score and make plays. I love offense. Anyway I can help out I will,” he said. “I need to work on my agility. It’s good but it’s not there yet. I’m running track in the off-season hoping to get better with it”, explained Johnson.
On the track Johnson is just as good as he runs a consistent 11.8 in the 100 and according to MileSplit.com his 4×100 relay team has the fastest time in the country in which he is the anchor leg.
Johnson plans to play both sports as a ninth grader at Northside. “My goal is to play varsity but I’ll do whatever it takes and play wherever the coach wants me,” said Johnson. “As long as I continue to work on getting bigger and faster I’ll be able to contribute next fall. If I can get in the rotation and get some snaps in next year it’ll be a successful season”, Johnson told Born to Compete.
~By Cody Butler