NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Going into last season, only De La Salle teammates really knew who Montrell Johnson was. But that all changed against Riverside last fall. Starting running back Kendall Collins went down with a leg injury. All Johnson did in his place, ran for a school record 345 yards.
“We turned to Montrell, who’s used to 10-12 type carry type game guy. We had to turn the workload to him, and he responded with something like 345 yards. Maybe four touchdowns, something like that, broke records. Ever since then he broke out. Like I said, I love that I have him,” said DLS head coach Ryan Manale.
“After that game, it was a very good confidence booster, and a lot of people were congratulating me. I felt like I could do anything at that point,” said junior running back Montrell Johnson.
Now the junior is a known talent, and colleges are starting to come Uptown to scout the 6-1, 198-pound back.
“Right now I have Southeastern (Louisiana), Nicholls, Tennessee. LSU, Georgia, Colorado have been looking at me right now,” said Johnson.
The school that finally lands Johnson, will get a leader on and off the field.
“I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, just the type of kid he is. Outside the football field, just the way he attacks the classroom, attacks the day. There’s not a person that’s going to say a negative thing about him from a teacher in the school, to a student who walks through. That’s what part of makes him special. In the weight room, we have a lot of guys who work hard, he’s one of them. On the football field, he just turns it on,” said Manale.
Johnson and the Cavaliers will get tested early this season. Opening with Warren Easton, Country Day, St. Charles Catholic, Amite, and Lakeshore.