Football is not the most important thing in Jett Johnson’s life. His faith and service is what makes him who he is.
The three-star linebacker from Tupelo High School (Miss.) comes from a family with a very strong religious background, being of the Methodist faith. His mom is a youth group leader and he is very active in it.
Johnson attends youth group on Wednesday nights, when he and his peers have dinner and a Bible study. The Mississippi linebacker says that youth group is a very important part of his life, keeping him humble and helping him realize the gifts that he says he has been blessed with.
“We’ve talked about this in small group before,” he said. “I believe it’s how we have the ability to do stuff, talking about our gifts, and I think I have a gift to play football and sports. I want to use that gift to glorify him.”
Aside from meeting on Wednesday nights, Johnson and his youth group do community service, specifically at an emergency shelter called Faith Haven. Founded by Johnson’s grandmother, Faith Haven is a home for kids who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.
Johnson has worked with Faith Haven a lot over the years by mowing the lawn, building a basketball hoop and a sandbox and, most importantly, interacting with the children who are all in extremely tough situations.
“They have it rough,” he said. “We’re very fortunate. They have a basketball, like a half court there, concrete. So I like to go play basketball with them or throw the football with them, and when the youth group goes over there, they interact with them and stuff and it makes you very thankful.”
Youth group has not been the only thing keeping Johnson’s faith strong. His mother, Frances Johnson, said her son has attended a Christian camp called “Camp Alpine For Boys” in Mentone, Ala., almost every summer of his life. The camp is totally unplugged, meaning there are no electronics.
“So you actually just unengage from the world and you get your priorities straight,” Johnson said. “You learn about the bible and you learn about what’s really important and so I would say that’s huge in shaping Jett.”
She described her son’s character as very humble and steady, reiterating the importance of faith in his life.
“Extremely important. Sports are just a season, and faith and character-building are for eternal purposes. It’s character building and discipline and all that goes right alongside his faith. His sports and his faith coincide.”
The three-star linebacker has picked up nine football offers, including Ole Miss and Mississippi State, two schools that have stuck out to him as a native of Mississippi.
“It’s surreal just thinking that I have the opportunity to play D-1 college ball,” he said. “That’s awesome.”
He plays varsity basketball as well and says it helps him stay in shape.
Jett Johnson is now ranked as the No. 25 inside linebacker for the class of 2018 and says he is glad to have time before he needs to make a final decision.
Edited by Maggie Gottlieb.