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Tejay Johnson, Texas Christian University

The name Tejay Johnson is a familiar name to TCU fans as he was a three-year starter, anchor of the secondary during their Rose Bowl run and was a finalist for the Thorpe Award which goes to the top defensive back in the nation. Johnson also was expected to be a mid- to late-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

However, Johnson felt he had a different calling in life and did not entertain the NFL Draft even though others urged him to go, but instead Johnson retired from football to complete the spring semester and finish his degree in habilitation of the deaf and hard of hearing. Johnson felt the need to pursue helping those who were deaf and hard of hearing when he had trouble communicating with a deaf cousin while in high school. Johnson decided to work on signing so that he could communicate with his cousin and after a few different majors at TCU, Johnson went with a degree that would help the deaf and hard of hearing.

Johnson was also taking part in leadership rolls at TCU where was the president of TCU's NAACP chapter and was part of the Black Student Association at TCU; he also felt there was more to the college experience than football which is why he took part in these other organizations.

This move to forgo a pro football career was difficult to understand by some of his teammates who the consensus All-American could play in the NFL for years. However, Johnson said he was just an average player and was in the right place to make those plays. So he felt the urgency to complete his degree and get started using his degree to help with those who were deaf or had limited hearing.

To pass that up is commendable because Johnson chose to follow a different career path that he felt is best suited for. He is not going to make the same income teaching deaf students as he would playing football, but by pursuing a career he truly enjoys can be worth all the same.

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