Athlete Benchmark – Eric Johnson, Luther College

by | January 4, 2011, 7:00am 0

Eric Johnson is a well rounded young college athlete.  In 2009 Johnson was honored as USAU Freshman  of The Year for the Central Region.  In 2010 he was named to the 2nd Team All-Region. As a player Johnson remains calm and in control, motivated by a burning fire to overcome any competition. Johnson excels in many components of athleticism most notably is his tremendous hip mobility.  Johnson can deliver full extension and break mark throws through even the fiercest of marks. His vertical jump score shows his explosive capabilities. At 30.5 inches it’s no wonder Johnson gets more D’s and  catches more sky’s than the majority of athletes in the Central Region.

Johnson attributes his explosive capabilities to his persistent training in the Luther College weight room.  His lifting focuses mainly on developing strength and Olympic lifting technique as this directly transfers into Soccer and Ultimate specific power.

Skyd magazine recently caught up with Johnson for an interview.

Name: Eric Johnson
LUFDA (Luther)
O and D Handler, optional cutter


40 Yard Sprint: 5.08 s
10 Yard Acceleration:
1.74 s
Vertical Jump: 30.5”
Zig Zag Agility:
9.07 s
300 Shuttle:
56.05 s

Johnson displaying his wide range of motion with a full extension open side forehand against AmmUNItion's Ethan Levine

Chose One:

Sky  –  D-Block  –  Lay Out Snag

Callahan – Greatest

Ocean – Mountains

Jerry Garcia – Trey Anastasio

Stair Workout – Heavy Front Squats – Plyos/ Agility Workout

On to the next one (Jay-Z) – All My Life (Foo Fighters)

Agility – Quickness – Speed – Power

Foot – Block

Johnson's athleticism and grit earn him huge D's, like this one vs. the Hodags in the semifinals at Regional's 2009

Describe your playing style in one word?

Eric Johnson: Explosive.

What are your strengths as a player?

EJ: Endurance/athletic ability, throws, leadership, inspiration, work effort, driven, intuition, field awareness.

What are your weaknesses as a player/ what part of your game are you working hard to improve?

EJ: Staying Injury free (not over training), break field hucks.

What do is your biggest asset as a teammate?

EJ: Compassion for my team and the game.

What drives you to play at the top of your game?

EJ: Competition, I HATE losing.

Where and at what level do you see yourself playing ultimate in 5 years?

EJ: Elite Club, depends on my job future.

What sorts of things do you do for off-season strength training?

EJ: I play D-3 Soccer (2 time captain); I also do triathlons and lift weights.

Johnson gets a huge D on a Wisconsin upline cut at College Nationals 2009

What player/ person/ figure in history/ animal do you consider to be your biggest inspiration in life?

EJ: My Family in Life and Michael Jordan in Athletics.

Who are your heroes and influences in Ultimate?

EJ: The biggest influence to my ultimate career is my old high school coach Ben Nalezny who taught me how to play the game and pushed me to an elite level early on.

Did you play any sports in High School/ College?

EJ: In High School I played soccer, ultimate, and competed in Nordic skiing as well as biathlons, in college I captain the soccer team and play Ultimate.

Agility – Quickness – Speed – Power- Endurance. Which quality (s) do you excel in?

EJ: Endurance, Agility, and Quickness.

Agility – Quickness – Speed – Power – Endurance. Which quality (s) are you working on improving?

EJ: Power and Speed.

Johnson demonstrates his superb hip mobility as he extends around the mark of AmmUNItion's Charlie Hubbard.

If you could share one tip with players striving to play at your level, what would it be?

EJ: Play Elite Club or the highest level you can get on.  Also use your latest season as motivation for the offseason- you should always come back better than when you left.  There is only 1 thing to remember… it pays to be a winner (SEALS).

What is your favorite “let’s go!” jam (song)?

EJ: Shake ya Tail Feathers – Nelly.

What are your goals concerning the upcoming college season?

EJ: Top Seed going into Regionals and capitalize on our chances once we are there at Nationals 3 weeks later

Johnson goes out of bounds in part one of a greatest vs ISUC. The disc was caught by Grayson Pangburn #12

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