On Wednesday, Boise State head football coach Andy Avalos announced that former hard hitting safety Jeron Johnson would be joining his staff as safeties coach. Johnson was part of some of Boise State’s greatest teams from 2007-2010. He brings with him an NFL pedigree and a Super Bowl ring that he won as a member of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013. Johnson has recently coached at Eastside Catholic in Washington, a high school powerhouse. He should quickly develop strong recruiting ties to Southern California and the Pacific Northwest
Johnson spent parts of eight seasons in the NFL, his most notable years were as a reserve safety for Seattle where he was a member of “The Legion of Boom.” Johnson has not coached at the college level and some fans may question whether or not he is ready to take on this type of role. But Johnson is a student of the game, he reminds me a lot of another former Bronco in Gerald Alexander. Alexander is a fast rising star in the coaching ranks and is now a defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins. Johnson is a student of the game and has a strong understanding of the x’s and o’s. But I have a sneaky suspicion that he will be an elite recruiter. Johnson can simply put on tape of his playing days and show off that Super Bowl ring.
Bronco fans should be excited about what Johnson will bring to this team. The secondary has received plenty of criticism the last few years, as they have struggled to generate turnovers and have been inconsistent in pass coverage. Johnson will bring a new energy, NFL experience, and a love for Bronco football.
With Johnson taking the lead, intensity will be at an all time high. Here are what some of Johnson’s former teammates had to say about his future at Boise State.
Jason Robinson: Jeron is a great visionary, which is an obvious necessity in recruiting, the ability to see the unseen in regards to an athlete’s potential. He also has a strong personal brand in every market we want/need to be recruiting and connecting with. The type of credibility you can’t manufacture.
Rashaun Scott: He’s all about the youth and being a person that not only can relate, but also give healthy guidance and be there for players on & off the field. He has experience that not every coach has had.
Hunter White: Jeron has a special knack for attracting ball players. Obviously with no college recruiting experiences I’m going off his relationships in the league and even in college. People want to be a round him. He has competed at the highest level and knows what it takes to be a standout player in college. Just by looking at the replies and comment on social media, pro bowlers from all over the league are congratulating Jeron. It speaks volumes and I know his personality will translate extremely well in recruiting.
He played safety, but will be coaching corners. Will that be an adjustment for him?
Robinson: Not really. Corners and safeties typically work in tandem, plus he’s got experience working with all positions. I personally believe he will be innovative and bring unique insight/perspective to the corner position. If you believe in osmosis, think about some of the corners he’s played with throughout his career: Orlando Scandrick, Kyle Wilson, Brandyn Thompson, Jamar Taylor, Jerrell Gavins, and Richard Sherman, just to name a few. Yeah, I’m excited to see him develop and skill guys.
Scott: Jeron has played football at the highest level. He will make sure those boys know the X’s & O’s.
White: Different techniques but was in the same meeting rooms and drills since a freshman at Boise. And even into the NFL being a part of that legendary secondary. Sure there will be some adjustments but for his football IQ and his ability to get players to perform at their best, he will thrive, no matter what secondary position it is.
How excited is he about returning to Boise?
Robinson: I haven’t spoken to him since things have been announced. With that said, I know how much he cares about this program and what he’s helped build. I can’t imagine him being anything other than ecstatic.
Scott: He’s excited to be back home. This is a lifelong dream to get this opportunity. Us Boise State brothers are happy and also excited for him. When Jeron found out he got the job, he told our close college brother Antwon Murray to call him Coach Johnson! now. We all fell out laughing and knew how happy he was.
White: I think he is thrilled, what an opportunity for him to start his college coaching career at BSU where he shined as a student athlete. Also has to be an amazing feeling knowing the support he has from the fans.
Where will his impact be felt the most?
Robinson: I think his impact will be felt the most on the left side of the Win-Loss column. What he brings to a locker room, the recruiting, and on the field are invaluable and immeasurable. He’s literally been a champion at every level going back to high school. You can’t replicate that time of football mastery and experience. I’m just glad we’ve got him on our team, again.
Scott: Jeron is going to have a huge impact in recruiting. He will be able to get the guys that BSU highly pursue. He’s been in the shoes of those who wish to play college ball at a high level and also been in the shoes of kids that dream of playing in the NFL. He’s relatable and has been through a lot of adversity and transitions in life; which he’s always found a way to overcome and be successful. He will help those young men find ways to be the beat version of themselves on and off the field. He’s a “GREAT” asset in all the areas above because he’s an even better person at the core of being an educator.
White: I think with this hire, it will be a combo. Recruiting is so important in college football but equally as important is what can you do with that talent. I think this is where Jeron will be a 1,2 punch. Will be a phenomenal recruiter but will have a special ability to develop his athletes with a championship mindset, on and off the field. As for the locker room. He is still young and didn’t retire from the NFL that long ago, I think players- and not just DB’s- will be lucky to have another amazing “players coach” on the already impressive staff. All around this is a fantastic hire, and can’t wait until he is able to dive in.
Clearly his former teammates have confidence. Johnson is already one of the most popular Bronco players of all time and it is looking like he will take on that same role as a coach. Special thanks to Jason Robinson and Rashaun Scott for their time and contributions.