October 3, 2006

Darkness Shines on Defense

His teammates may call him "Darkness," but
Georgia fans know junior defensive end Charles Johnson as the key playmaker
for the number one scoring defense in the country. Johnson was honored this
week with the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week award for his performance against
Ole Miss last weekend. Johnson recorded four tackles, two sacks, and one pass
breakup in the win and he leads the SEC with nine tackles for a loss this year.
Johnson also leads the Bulldogs with 3.5 sacks through the first five games
of the year.


The Hawkinsville native paid his dues as a reserve and
spent two years behind senior
Quentin Moses and former players David
Pollack
and Will Thompson. Johnson bided his time on the bench and
worked on his game and when his number was called during those first two season
he delivered big plays with two sacks against South Carolina and a fumble recovery
for a touchdown against Louisiana-Monroe during the 2005 season.


Johnson credits his success this year on hard work during
the off-season and dedication to improve his game.


"I started to work harder this off-season and lost
a lot of weight and my work habits increased tremendously," said Johnson.
"The coaches pushed me harder because last year they did not think I was
working as hard as I could."


Now that Johnson is having success on the field on a regular
basis, he feels he needs to become more of a leader for his teammates and he
is willing to embrace that role.


"Now I work really hard to be a leader and help
the team out in any way I can," said Johnson.


Ultimately above all the awards and accolades, Johnson
has one goal every week.


"Because I am a defensive end my favorite thing
to do is to get a sack," said Johnson. "There is nothing like getting
a sack, but the first thing you have to do is to stop the run."


Charles Johnson and the Georgia defense will need a similar
effort Saturday to beat Tennessee given the offensive struggles of the last
two weeks.


"We (the defense) are supposed to set the tempo
not the offense so there is no more pressure on us and if we do our job we do
not have to worry about the offense," said Johnson.


Johnson and the other defensive players hope they can
pressure Ainge and the Tennessee offense and get some sacks this weekend against
the Volunteers and lead the Bulldogs to victory.



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