Sports Spotlight: Refusing To Give Up On A Dream

(May 4, 2014) From the nosebleed seats, it's hard to see, but on the 20-yard line is a man who just refuses to give up.

24-year-old Victor Johnson last played on his high school field six years ago. But he's back because he can't let go of his dream.

"I always wanted to be an NFL player," he said.

That idea came to Victor long before he was in high school.

And for former Waco High head coach, Johnny Tusa, it didn't sound so crazy.

"When you looked at him, you knew he was something special," Tusa said.

By the time he graduated in 2008, Victor was ranked as the top player in central Texas.

Even higher than Robert Griffin III.

"People always told me I could be a great NFL player," Victor said.
And that's when the dream came crashing down.

A sophomore at Oklahoma State, Victor tried to make a move at practice when he felt pain in his knee.

"I tore my ACL."

His first major injury didn't end his career, but it put the NFL further out of reach.

"I just thought I have to work harder."

He worked all the way back to his starting job and was one of the best defensive players on the team. But then things changed once again.

"The fourth game of the season against Texas A&M, I tore it again," Victor said.

His dream had been replaced by the nightmare of a painful reality.

"I kind of felt real down and started feeling like maybe this isn't for me," he said.

But, Victor still had one year of college left, so he made the best of it.

He rehabbed, transferred schools and tried to recapture some of the glory he once had.

"I didn't give up," Victor said.

Things were going well, until six months ago.

"I came down to make a tackle, I stood up and was like 'man, my knee.'"

Victor didn't need a doctor because he knew.

"I tore my ACL again. I shed a bunch of tears because it's something I've worked for my whole life," he said.

Victor came home to Waco to work with personal trainer Chris Goss, who was amazed Victor was still chasing his dream.

"It's unbelievable," Goss said.

That's what brought Victor back to his high school field. His plan was to videotape himself working out, and send it to any NFL team willing to listen. But, right before he was going to make that tape, the phone started ringing.

"Someone's coming down. The Broncos are coming down to look at me."

Just in time for the NFL draft.

"That could be my chance."

And he took advantage. He ran fast, cut hard and jumped back onto the radar of at least one NFL team.

"It's something I can't believe."

Because it's never felt so real.

And reality is a dream.

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