Dan DeFrancesco here. I manage the paper’s weekly college notebook that runs every Sunday. This week we featured Ossining graduate Lemar Johnson. As you’ll see, Johnson is making the most of his junior year at Morrisville after missing the entire 2012 season.
Johnson isn’t the only local who is excelling on the football field in college. I recently wrote about Fordhams’ football team, which is off to an 8-0 start and No. 8 ranking nationally. The Rams have four locals on the team that have contributed in different ways. For the full story click here.
For regular updates on locals’ accomplishments in all college sports follow me @LohudCollege.
The 2012 football season was the hardest Ossining graduate Lemar Johnson has ever had.
After starting every game for Morrisville at quarterback in 2011, Johnson was forced to leave school due to academic reasons.
“It killed me inside not to play football for a year,” said Johnson, who spent a year taking classes at Westchester Community College. “It was all I thought about when I was home, just playing football. That’s why I really worked hard in the offseason. It made me real hungry to come back in the offseason and try and get the starting role to lead this team.”
Johnson was named the starter and one of the team captains upon his return to school. This season he has thrown for 1,403 yards and 14 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 435 yards and five TDs, through five games. For the second consecutive week, the junior earned both ECAC Division III Southeast and New Jersey Athletic Conference offensive player of the week awards.
“I think it says a lot about him,” said Morrisville head coach Curt Fitzpatrick about Johnson being named the starting quarterback and team captain after missing a season. “When you watch him play there is no doubt that he gives everything to this team and cares about the success of the program.”
After an 0-2 start, the Mustangs have won three straight.
Johnson’s top target this season has been Stepinac graduate Josh Powell.
The junior wide receiver has 35 receptions for 589 yards and five touchdowns.
“Lemar and Josh have a great relationship on and off the field,” Fitzpatrick said. “The connection that they have, it’s almost like they know what each other is thinking out there.”
Nyack graduate Sanley Pierre-Louis, a senior wide receiver, Sleepy Hollow graduate Kayzon Stovall, a sophomore running back, and White Plains graduate Ari Shamery, a freshman running back, also play at Morrisville.
“We talk about high school, who thinks who is better and all that stuff,” said Johnson of the other locals. “It makes us really connect, going back and thinking about how high school was and how it is now.”