Greenbelt's San Francisco 49er Set To Tackle Naysayers Predictions
Heading into the 49ers training camp, Cam Johnson is determined to show doom and gloomers that his sickle cell trait won't hold him back.
Little did future NFL draft pick and 49ers outside linebacker, Cam Johnson, realize when growing up in Greenbelt, MD, the success and challenges that he would tackle.
On Friday, Johnson begins training camp with the San Francisco 49ers, after being picked in the seventh-round of the draft this spring, despite being rated a second-round draft grade by NFL Network analyst Mike Maycock, according to a 49ers feature on Johnson.
His draft standing may have been due to his medical history, which Johnson feels was blown out of proportion, according to the feature.
Now Johnson says, "I feel like I have something to prove," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
At the University of Virginia, where Johnson spent his college years, he was diagnosed with sickle-cell trait, which is a genetic disorder that can cause anemia, the Chronicle says. Prior to his team's 2011 season, Virginia Head Coach Mike London said he thought Johnson's condition affected his energy in games, according to the Chronicle.
But this week, London said he didn't believe Johnson's trait was a major issue during his career, the Chronicle reports.
Johnson's late pick in the draft angered Jim Reid, Virginia defensive coordinator.
"I don't know what this draft day crap was about," the Chronicle reports Reid saying, "I'm a Christian, but I'd still like to use a few extra words."
"I feel like fatigue sets in for me as much as any other player," Johnson said, "I'm not sure how much could be attributed to sickle-cell trait, but I feel like I'm more than capable of playing as much as any other player," the Chronicle reports.
As for Reid, he believes Johnson will become a player the 49ers will remember.
He laughed that San Francisco got him in the seventh round and said, "They ought to put (49ers director of college scouting) Joel Patten in jail for stealing a player," according to the Chronicle.
As Johnson heads into camp, the former Virginia standout has one way of doing things—the right way—to understand how it needs to be done then master the approach, according to the 49ers feature.
How about some words from back home town for a fellow Greenbelter who is getting geared up to try and prove the naysayers wrong? Let Johnson hear from you in the comments.