BRAD ROBICHAUX — Roschon Johnson shows trying something new teaches you about yourself

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Switch gears every once in a while and do something different. You never know — you might actually be good at that new thing you tried.

At least, that’s the case with Roschon Johnson, who joined the Texas Longhorns as a quarterback but played this past season as a running back.

The Mid-County area, and Port Neches-Groves fans in particular, know Johnson as one of the best quarterbacks the school ever produced, one who is at the top in the Indians’ history book for most passing yards.

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That’s fine. Johnson probably doesn’t need more statistics to know how skilled a quarterback he is.

Before the season even started, injuries depleted the Longhorns’ depth chart for running backs, and Johnson stepped up for his team.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s fun because you’re doing it with your best friends and the team,” he said. “We’re all in it together when we go to workouts and stuff. You’re working hard for your brother next to you, so that makes it a lot more fun.”

Johnson could have been an adequate placeholder for the running back that would succeed him when one was found. He could have gone through the motions, done the bare minimum of what was expected of running backs, “meet his numbers” as a salesman might. It wasn’t his position — he was just a temporary substitute, he might say. Some might not even fault him for believing that. I probably wouldn’t.

That’s not what he did. He played in all 13 games, in a few of those games rushing for over 100 yards, and totaling 649 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He didn’t just meet his numbers as a substitute running back. He was a full-fledged running back, and a good one, too.

No, not everything a person might try is going to come as naturally as all things football seem to for Johnson. But giving it a try will at least tell that person much about who he or she is and what (s)he’s good at.

The trick, though, is to actually give an effort, and that takes discipline. If no effort was given, there’s no telling what could have been possible.

“I would say the discipline required to be successful is something that stands out,” Johnson said. “In order to achieve great success in something, you have to be disciplined in working toward that thing.”

It has certainly been key for Johnson as he navigates college football.

Discipline is hard. If it weren’t, it probably wouldn’t be such a common refrain from athletes who go on to achieve success. From all the athletes I’ve talked to, though, it’s necessary.

If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that isn’t so easily broken, pledge to try something new and give that new thing your all. No matter what you try, and regardless if you succeed in that thing or not, you’ll meet your resolution and be able to brag about it at the end of 2020 to all the friends who give up by Jan. 2.

If you keep doing it, you might even learn something about yourself.

Brad Robichaux is a reporter for The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at