Weber State defensive back Taron Johnson, right, defends Utah State receiver Andrew Rodriguez during the Aggies’ 45-6 win over the Wildcats on Sep. 1, 2016.
PARK CITY — Last season, cornerback Taron Johnson and Weber State made the FCS football playoffs for the first time since 2009, a big step forward for the program in head coach Jay Hill’s third season at the helm of the Wildcats.
Weber State lost in the first round of the playoffs, 45-14 to Chattanooga, and Johnson hasn’t forgotten the feeling of exiting the playoffs early. In fact, he’s used it to fuel his fire in the months leading up to the Wildcats’ first game of the 2017 season on Sept. 2.
“It was a good experience overall, I just wish we would have done better in the playoffs, (had) a better showing for our school,” Johnson said at Big Sky Media Day Monday in Park City. “I want to get back to the playoffs, I want to go past the first round, second round, all of that.”
Johnson is one big reason Weber State has been on the rise as a football program. In 2016, the Wildcats led the Big Sky in passing defense, holding opposing offenses to an average of 193.5 yards per game. In his junior year last season, Johnson broke the school record for career pass breakups (33). He also led the Big Sky Conference in pass breakups in 2016, with 12, and was placed on the All-Big Sky Conference second team.
Johnson has worked hard in the offseason to get better and become more of a lockdown corner and now he’s set lofty goals for the 2017 campaign.
“Over four interceptions, no touchdowns on me and get drafted (in the NFL),” Johnson said of his personal goals. “I feel like my drive to be the best player is really high, and I feel that’s what keeps me going the most. I want to be the best and the best at my position.”