An interview with former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Damaris Johnson
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Damaris Johnson, a former wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. Damaris spent four seasons in the NFL and played under notable head coaches including Andy Reid and Bill Bellichick. To this day, he still holds the record for the fourth-longest punt return in NFL history with a 98-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in 2012. Enjoy this Q&A session I had with the slot receiver.
This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Tell us how you got into football at a young age and your journey to the NFL.
Damaris Johnson: I would start off by saying I’m a five-foot-eight guy weighing just 170 pounds so if you saw me on the street you would never guess I played four years in the NFL. I grew up in a pretty athletic family. I loved to compete and have fun. One thing led to another, and I was able to make it to the big stage.
Who have been some role models throughout your life?
Damaris Johnson: My mom. As a single mother, she took care of our family and worked multiple jobs but never complained. Seeing her work ethic really motivated me and it translated to sports for me. I wasn’t the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy, but I just worked hard and gave it my all. I just loved the game because of her work ethic and the work ethic of many family members.
Talk to us about your college career at Tulsa and how you were able to have so much success there.
Damaris Johnson: Getting to Tulsa was a little weird because it wasn’t my first choice. They didn’t really recruit me right away. They were coming off of a season in which they had the number one offense in the country with two freshman All-Americans in Charles Clay and Trae Johnson.
I wasn’t thinking about going there and honestly my visit there was the worst visit I went on, but there was something special about meeting the coaches and seeing their gameplan. Gus Malzahn, the offensive coordinator, told me I would fit in perfectly with the offense.
I ended up choosing Tulsa over schools like TCU and Minnesota, and it honestly was the best choice of my life. I was an All-American all three years there and they used my abilities which allowed me to prosper in that offense and make it to the next level.