Making The Most of His Opportunity

Making The Most of His Opportunity

For most, summer is a time for vacation and relaxation. For football programs around the nation, however, it is a critical time where sweat and hard work can make the difference in the success of the upcoming season. The Golden Eagles are certainly doing their part. We caught up with senior Bruce Johnson to get an inside look at his and the team's summer so far.

Bruce Johnson is a rising senior who wants to go out the right way. With last season behind him, the talented fullback knows things have to change if the Eagles are going to get back to winning football.

They have made those changes, and discipline and toughness are going to become a part of Southern Miss football again.

"Well we are really working hard this summer and things are going really, really well," Johnson said after a lift on Wednesday.

"Monday starts out our week with a team run early in the morning. I work out personally at 9:30 every day, and then on Monday I have a heavy leg day.

"Tuesday we'll move into running by position. The big skill guys run at a seperate time, and we do a lot of agilities, speed work, and then Friday we'll have another team run. We lift four times a week and Friday is our off day for weights."

Johnson said everyone is buying in and there is an air of expectation about the upcoming season.

"Everyone is doing awesome, and everyone is on board," he said. "I know guys who have gained close to 25 and 30 pounds. We have some lineman that have really changed their bodies and are really stepping up. It has been neat to see."

He's seen those same changes in himself, too.

"Personally I'm trying to get faster and just be in the best shape of my life, and I think that is where I am," he said. "I've gained about 5 pounds of muscle. We did body fat percentage and that came out real well for me. I just want to crush the runs and get in shape, and just be an example to all the guys coming in."

Johnson was quick to point to Coach Smith as the guy who is leading the charge in getting everyone back to where they know they need to be.

"When you come to work, it is time to work and there is no joking around," he said. "He changed the entire attitude of the team from day one.

"Saying that, and even as tough as he is, I've gone to him just to talk. He's there for us. I went to him because I needed to change my schedule and he helped me do that. He gives us advice on and off the field. He's helped me as far as playing fullback too. Honestly, he is just what this program needed."

Being a senior, Bruce knows he has one more shot to leave his legacy with Southern Miss personally and as a team.

"I've seen so many guys come through here, and I've seen both ends of the spectrum," he said.

"You have your Ronnie Thornton's and Korey William's who have left their legacy. I looked up to them and never wanted to fall short of that.

"I know my senior class is going to give it all, and when we win that conference championship I am going to look back and know I gave it all to my school and this program. That is the legacy I want to leave here at Southern Miss."

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