Rising Star: Willie G. Johnson III

Willie G. Johnson III is a 13 year-old quarterback from Zachary, Louisiana in the seventh grade. Willie impressed the Gridiron staff at the latest Gridiron Football Elite Camp at Woodlawn High School on February 4th, 2023. As a Methodist, Willie participates in weekly worship and ministry with his family, who are strongly centered in their Christian faith. Willie, who follows his father’s example, also develops his character through things like helping maintain many acres of land on a weekly basis on his family’s property. With such a strong foundation in identity, Willie has a very bright future in the sport of football.

Willie Johnson III Q&A:

Q: What motivated you to start playing football?

“My dad motivated me into playing football and I really wanted to play it. Really my dad keeps me playing football, he’s my motivation to continue playing.”

Willie drinking water on the sidelines during a timeout

Q: What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from any coach?

“Learning how to move in the pocket, all the techniques of throwing the ball, and how to move with the ball in the pocket.”

Q: What is your biggest strength on the field and off the field?

“I like training with all the coaches and my friends so I would say being ready to work is my biggest strength. Off the field, I like working out and academics so those would be my strengths.”

Willie throwing a lateral pass in-game

Q: What activities off the field keep you ready for the season?

“Basketball, golf, soccer, and I’m a drummer. I’m also an avid reader, love computers, and artificial intelligence.”

Q: What’s your favorite memory in football?

“Throwing my first ever touchdown on the tackle football field. I threw a 30 yard pass in my first pass from scrimmage ever against Live Oak.”

Q: What are some current goals you have for yourself?

“To win a 7 on 7 championship, to start for my high school and college teams, and eventually make it to the NFL. I also want to be a lawyer and little league football coach after my career.”

Willie getting ready to launch a pass downfield

Q: What NFL player would you compare yourself to and model your game after?

“Patrick Mahomes. All his throwing angles and his ability to keep plays alive and make something out of nothing.”

Q: Who is your biggest inspirational figure?

“My family all inspire me, but I would say my dad the most. As far as players I would also say Jalen Hurts inspires me.”

Q: How do you prepare yourself mentally for a game?

“I throw the ball, and I listen to music a lot of the time. Mainly rap music.”

Willie dropping back in the pocket

Q: Do you have any advice for someone starting to play football for the first time?

“You have to train a lot, you have to be disciplined, and push yourself. You have to always communicate with your coaches and be the first one at practice and the last to leave.”

Willie along with his father Willie Johnson II and little brother John Caleb