From Cardinal to Falcon

At Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, senior Corey Johnson has started at cornerback for the varsity football team for the past three years. He earned second team all-state standing during his sophomore and junior years, and he made first team in his senior year. Feb. 3, Johnson signed a letter of intent to play football at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Johnson looks back at his time at Ireton with gratitude. "Going to Ireton opened up so many doors for me," he said. "Coming to high school, I never saw myself taking the path I chose to take, but thanks to my friends, teammates, coaches, teachers and the rest of the BI community, I have been given an excellent opportunity that I would not have had otherwise."

Johnson initially never considered the military as an option after high school. He was recruited by several other schools, including Villanova, Fordham, St. Francis and Sacred Heart. The Air Force Academy did not become an option until very late in the process and was not very high on his list at first. But he changed his mind after he visited the school.

"What really stood out to me were the opportunities after I graduate from the Academy," said Johnson. "Also, getting the opportunity to play Division I football at the highest level and to play on ESPN every Saturday and play in a bowl game was just too much to turn down."

As he gets ready to graduate and head west, Johnson feels humble about his accolades.

"I feel extremely blessed," he said. "I set this goal as a freshman, not knowing how much work I'd have to put in and how hard it would be. Seeing it all pay off (is) one of the best feelings ever."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016