Johnson ready to make move to receiver at OU

Posted Dec 20, 2004

Gilmer, Texas quarterback and Oklahoma commitment Manuel Johnson (pictured above) talks about leading his team to the Texas state championship and making the move to receiver at Oklahoma.

Manuel Johnson, WR, 6-0, 170, 4.6, GILMER, TEXAS:

JH: How does it feel to be a state champion?

MJ: “It feels pretty good. No, real good in fact.”

JH: Has the town quit celebrating?

MJ: “No, we just had our parade tonight. When you called earlier we were right in the middle of it. The entire town is still in shock. We are the first team from Gilmer to ever win a state championship.”

JH: What a wild game in which you won 49-47. Tell me about the game?

MJ: “No, we never felt safe in the game. We got off to a good start and led 28-7 at the half, but in the second half I threw three interceptions in the second half that allowed them to come back. The first interceptions led to a touchdown for them, and then I threw another one and they scored right after that it, so all of a sudden it was 28-21. We had scored at the beginning of the second half, so actually it was 35-21. Then we started going back and forth, back and forth, but what was hurting them was that they kept missing extra points. They scored last and missed a two-point conversion with about four minutes left. We tried to run out the clock, but had to punt but they couldn’t get anything going with a minute left in the game.”

JH: What were your stats in the game?

MJ: “I threw for 308 yards three touchdowns and three interceptions. I also rushed for 41 yards. I also had two 60-yard punts.”

JH: With the movie Friday Night Lights out now many of us have an idea how tough it is to win a state championship in Texas. Was your championship run anything like that of Odessa Permian in the movie?

MJ: “We played a total of 16 games to win the championship, and our town was just like the movie Friday Night Lights. Stores were painted and people were always talking about the game. You couldn’t go anywhere without people talking about the next game. The only difference in us and the movie is that we won and they didn’t"

JH: You are switching positions to wide receiver at OU, so will you miss playing QB?

MJ: “I will miss playing quarterback a little bit, but when I go to OU I need to become a great receiver. I need to adapt and become a force at receiver.”

JH: Which sport do you jump into now?

MJ: “I go into basketball. I have started since my sophomore year and I am a pretty good player. Last year I averaged 12 points per game, and as a sophomore I averaged 15.”

JH: When will you take your official visit to OU?

MJ: “I will take it some time in January, but I am not sure about the official time.”

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