Johnson never got caught up in the hype

Malcolm Johnson caught 79 passes for 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns during his career.  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Malcolm Johnson caught 79 passes for 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns during his career. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State concluded one of its best seasons ever, including a five week run at No. 1 for the first time in school history.

However, one of the Bulldogs captains – Malcolm Johnson – did not get caught up in the spotlight. The senior tight end wanted to stay focused in his final season and declined all interview requests.

Now looking back in his first public comments, Johnson was proud to be a part of that moment in time for the program.

“Honestly, being No. 1 didn’t really kick in for me until we lost and fell out,” Johnson said. “We were just so focused on trying to remain No. 1 and winning each week. I never got into the hype about stuff like and that’s why I never got in the media about it. But looking back it was a major accomplishment for the program and for the state.”

Johnson arrived at MSU as a wide receiver and was converted into tight end during his redshirt freshman campaign. After two injury plagued years to start his career, the 6-foot-2, 231-pounder from Tuscaloosa, Ala., played in all 26 games his final two seasons.

Johnson concluded his collegiate career with 23 starts over 45 games and hauled in 79 passes for 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished fourth on the team this fall with 28 catches for 380 yards and three scores.

“This is something that I’ll always remember,” Johnson said. “I thank all of my teammates and coaches for buying in and believing in the program. Words really can’t explain how far things have come since I first started. Looking back now from where we’ve come from and knowing I’ve been a part of building that is tremendous.”

But as much as Johnson has achieved on the field during his five years in Starkville, he would like fans to remember the person he was off it.

“I’d rather my legacy to be remembered for more off the field,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of great players who come in and out every year. Some are remembered and some are not. I’d like to be remembered by how I treated and respected people off the field and how I represented this program to a high standard.”

Johnson will now begin training for the NFL and completing the final two classes for his master’s degree in workforce education this spring.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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  • Reason2Succeed

    class act

  • Mike Davis

    Right on Big Mal!

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