Stafon Johnson relishes opportunity after near-death experience

Next Sunday, five months to the day after Stafon Johnson nearly died in a weightlifting accident, the USC running back will work out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Just being another numbered prospect is a remarkable victory for Johnson, who still can barely speak above a scratchy whisper.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports details Johnson’s long road back, which first included eating solid food again in late November.  Johnson has regained strength by hitting the weight room again.  He lifts 225 pounds between 23-27 times.

Those around Johnson say the accident only strengthened Johnson’s resolve.

“From the injury to now, his attitude toward playing football, it’s a
total transformation,” said a childhood friend, Lee Spreewell.

Johnson’s draft stock is up for debate.  Some see him as a mid-round pick; others think he’ll go undrafted.  

“I’m in the business of proving people wrong,” Johnson said. “I always
have been.”

The remarkable toughness Johnson has showed in his fast recovery can only help his chances of becoming a pro.