Johnson knew the day would come when he would be thrust into a more demanding role in the Southern Miss offense.
"I think it's a good thing," said Desmond of his new role. "I sat down and watched Damion (Fletcher) and learned from him. I am just ready for my time now."
The former Dandy Dozen selection is eager to shoulder more of the load.
"It feels good," said Desmond. "Now I know it's my time to show the country what I am capable of. I am ready to get out there and play in front of thousands of people."
Having the chance to mature both physically and mentally has been a good thing for the Yazoo City native.
"I feel good," said Johnson. "I came in at about 185 my freshman year. I am 203 pounds and I still have my speed. I have a 365 max in the bench now. Lifting is going real good."
With some offensive players overcoming ailments from a year ago, Johnson has a lot of faith in his team's ability to score points this fall.
"We're going to be able to score a lot of points," said Desmond. "Our opponents can't just focus on one key player now. We have a lot of talented players on offense and defense now."
Some prognosticators have the Eagles as the trendy pick to win Conference USA's Eastern Division this season.
Desmond believes that with some hard work and dedication by the entire team, Southern Miss can live up to those lofty expectations.
"We have the players the coaches and the staff to get there," said the shifty running back. "I just need to run hard, not turn the ball over and score points.
"We feel like we can win a conference championship."