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Cardinal Capsule
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 10/06/2000

Oct. 6, 2000

Riall Johnson
Sport: Football
Year: Senior
Position: OLB
Height: 6-3
Weight: 240
Hometown: Lynwood, Wash.
High School: Mariner
Major: Sociology
Stanford Athletics Highlights: Leads Stanford this season in sacks (5-25) and tackles for loss (7-41) ... Has added 14 tackles and two passes defended ... Recorded three sacks in the win over Texas (9/16/00) to earn honors as the USA Today.com Pac-10 Player of the Week, marking the sixth time in his career that he has recorded two or more sacks in a game ... Has career totals of 26 sacks (-186 yards) and 39 tackles-for-losses (-231 yards) ... Second Team All-Pac-10 selection (1999) after tying for the Pac-10 lead with 13 quarterback sacks (-108 yards) ... Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after recording five sacks versus Washington State (9/11/99).

NICKNAME
They used to call me "the Dragon" in high school. The first time I carried the ball, I drug this guy like ten yards. I was dragging people all the time.

FAVORITE FOOD
The steak that my mom makes.

FAVORITE MUSIC ARTIST(s)
I don't really have a favorite artist. I listen to a lot of R&B, so I guess my favorite artist is a group called Guy.

FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM
Stanford Cardinal Football.

FAVORITE PLACE TO HANG OUT
Anywhere around campus. This year, Lagunita, where my little brother lives.

BEST BOOK YOU HAVE READ
"When Work Disappears" by William Julius Wilson. I read it for a sociology class. It really opened my eyes. It talked about how cities are segregated, how inner cities and poor neighborhoods are created.

FAVORITE CLASS
Urban Underclass - Sociology 149. I took that class my freshman year and that is what made me decide to be a sociology major.

FAVORITE HOBBY
Besides football, playing video games.

FAVORITE VIDEO GAME
I like Tekken and NFL 2K, or any fighting or sports games. The only thing not good about the fighting games is that I'm too good at them now and no one will play me.

FAVORITE MOVIE
Fight Club. I like movies that can trick me, like Fight Club and The Usual Suspects - movies that change on you and you don't know what's going on then it gets you.

FAVORITE TV SHOW
A tie between Wrestling and South Park.

FAVORITE ATHLETE
A tie between my two brothers - Ahmani and Teyo Johnson. I grew up watching other pro athletes like Walter Payton and Lawrence Taylor, but I was more interested in watching my brother play.

FAVORITE NON-FOOTBALL ACTIVITY
Playing any other sport - soccer is actually my favorite non-football sport. I don't get to play it that much any more, but that's what I was best at, other than football.

ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES YOU
Competitive. Growing up with my two brothers, I always had someone above and below me. I always tried to compete with my older brother and Teyo was always competing against me. I learned to be competitive, be it on the field or playing video games.

IF YOU WERE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE CD, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU TAKE?
It's hard to say. I have a computer that I can make mixed CD's with. It probably depends on what kind of road trip. If it was a road trip for a football game, I'll have to take one that hypes me up. For any road trip, I'd have to take my Guy CD, since it has a variety of different kinds of music.

BEST VACATION OR TRIP YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN
Last spring break, I went to Cancun with a couple of my teammates and had a great time down there.

OPPONENT YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO BEAT
The next one.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE BEFORE A GAME? DO YOU HAVE ANY GAMEDAY SUPERSTITIONS?
I don't really have a certain ritual. I bring my swords to every game. I have three Japanese swords, and I bring my middle one to every game. I brought it down to the locker room for the Texas game, but that was the first time I had done that. Most of the time, I leave it in the Arrillaga locker room.

IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER SPORT AT STANFORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Basketball or soccer. Basketball, so I could actually get a ticket and see a game.

BEST THING ABOUT BEING A STUDENT-ATHLETE AT STANFORD
The overall atmosphere. You are not pampered at Stanford. Being a student-athlete really doesn't matter to other people at Stanford that much - the best thing about it is not being treated like an athlete. Everyone else has something going for them - you could be living next door to a gold medallist or a world-renowned artist. It's a good thing that being an athlete doesn't mean that much around campus.

BEST PART ABOUT YOUR GAME
My ability to adapt. I am able to adjust to certain things and able to correct my mistakes. If someone beats me on the field at something, they're not going to beat me at that again. I really emphasize not making the same mistake twice.

BEST SPORTING EVENT YOU HAVE EVER ATTENDED
AAU Basketball National Championships, watching my little brother. Teyo was tearing up everybody and was the tournament MVP. Or watching my brother play in the Civil War (football) when Ahmani went to Oregon State. Basically, any event with either of my brothers

SOMEWHERE YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN THAT YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO VISIT
Probably New York City or maybe Scotland. Actually, my mom is Scottish and my grandparents are from Scotland.

IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH A FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I'd have to say Martin Luther King, Jr. I know a lot of people say that, but I would love to see what kind of person he was.

WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING IN 10 YEARS?
Hopefully, still playing football. But, I know you can't play football forever, so I'd like to run my own business. I want to try to open a radio station back in Seattle with my brothers. We've always talked about that, maybe KJJJ.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR ATHLETIC CAREER TO THIS POINT?
The Texas game was one of my highlights, being named Pac-10 Player of the Week by USA Today. But, overall I'd have to say winning the Pac-10 last year. That was a team thing and being a part of that was amazing.

MOST INFLUENTAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE
My older brother, Ahmani Johnson. I watched what he did, and I'm trying to do what he did, only better - since that is what he'd like me to be. Hopefully, someday Teyo will follow me but be even better. My parents have given me support, but my older brother has been my role model, and I've always tried to follow in his footsteps.

WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND STANFORD?
The overall atmosphere. Just like the best thing about being a student-athlete, you're not isolated here. I also got along with all the players really well. Everyone on the team seemed to hang out together, but when I went to other schools, the team seemed segregated and separated into small groups. Also, it has the best academics you can get in a Division I program.

WHAT WOULD YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE STANFORD?
He knew how to compete and made other people competitive, that he left his mark and was a fun person to be around.

FAVORITE BREAKFAST CEREAL
Lucky Charms or Golden Grahams.

COKE OR PEPSI?
Pepsi

PAPER OR PLASTIC?
Plastic


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