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The Five-Star Teammate -- Manvel's Taiwan Johnson
January 10, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - South Houston
Taiwan Johnson, The Super Star Teammate
By Ahmard Vital
It did not matter what time during his high school career you talked with him, Manvel defensive end Taiwan Johnson is always quick to discuss team-first issues. Not in the sense that there was something bad going on, but Johnson always put himself second to what was best for the team.
And with an attitude like that from a defensive captain and team leader, the vibes are contagious.
“I always wanted things to be about the Manvel Mavericks first. I never wanted my success (preseason accolades, football recruitment) to be a distraction,” Johnson said.
Johnson referred to “my team” frequently, and many times were the first words spoken, which is why Manvel coach Kirk Martin holds Johnson is such high regards. Even when the Mavericks lost 49-28 to Aledo in the Class 4A Division II state title game against Aledo last month, Johnson was disappointed that his team fell, but credited the work that was accomplished based on the fact that this team was a great one.
“Our team chemistry was the reason we were able to do well this season. All that we were able to do this year was great for the school and our community,” Johnson said. “It was a great feeling overall even though we lost a tough one at the end. We played Aledo good, but we have to give Aledo credit for a great win.”
So what is next for Johnson? As stated in an earlier paragraph, Johnson did not allow anything that personal to him interfere with his team goals. His high school career did indeed end on December 17, but he made his choice of college on December 21 – heading to the SEC West squad Arkansas.
“I felt it was the right time. It was getting down to the end of recruiting for me and I wanted to get the decision out of the way,” Johnson said. “For a while I have been feeling Arkansas. Then after I thought about it, there was nothing else I needed to see and there was nothing else I needed to hear.
“I loved everything about the program and felt it was the right place for me.”
He'll be "Calling the Hogs" for the next four years. Pig Sooie.