Introducing Johnny Pena
recruit profile
Southwest Recruiting Analyst
Posted May 9, 2012
Jason Jewell


Q & A with Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic running back

Scout.com: What were your stats/honors from last season?
Johnny Pena
: "Last season I had 100+ carries for 1000+ yards while my Sophomore season I had 130+ carries for 1400+ yards. Last year I broke the all time rushing record at Salpointe Catholic high school, which was my biggest accomplishment of my Junior year."

What is your official height and weight?
"I am 5-10, 190."

What is your greatest football memory?
"My greatest football memory would be the day I was moved up to Varsity my freshman year about the 2nd game into the season. It was great to walk into Coach Bene's office and receive some very good news. After I left his office it was almost unreal to believe that I was now a varsity football player! Then, my first game on Varsity, Coach Bene put me in against Ironwood Ridge. Next thing you know, on about the 10 yard line, he calls in a play to me and I score! That moment was the best memory I have ever had playing football for 13 years."

What are your goals for the upcoming season?
"I have many goals for this upcoming season. The MAIN goal is to have a State Championship ring on my finger at the end of December because a championship is what my school needs to complete its history. Personally, I hope to break my all time rushing record in a season which would be 1400+ and have a few more records under my belt! I just want to do well enough to be noticed by colleges, to show that my play speaks for itself because I am not much of a talkative person."

How are you preparing for the upcoming season? Will you attend any camps this summer?
"I have been lifting and putting in some good work in the weightroom since 2 weeks after our football season has ended. Yes i hope to attend some Ivy League Camps"

What aspect of your game have you really worked hard to improve? What area would you like to keep improving on?
"I have really been working on my quickness and speed in and out of the holes to get that extra step on the DB's to help gain some more yards and touchdowns. I would definitely like to keep improving on my speed and quickness!"

Who are some of your teammates that people need to watch out for?
"People need to for sure be watching out of Cameron Denson, Brogan Kemmerly, Travis Fister, Andy Cota, and Jared Sires. All of these players have that ability to change any game situation in a matter of seconds because they are all hard working men that have that drive and thirst for winning. They have worked hard right beside me and I know that no matter what these guys will have my back even when my team is back against the ropes. These will be the guys to step up and be the game changers but that goes for all of my teammates, without them, we are nothing."

Name one teammate you really respect and why?
"I really have respect for Brogan Kemmerly. I have tremendous respect for him because this past season he had a season ending injury that is still affecting him to this day. Although it has been very tough for him, he does not let his injury stop because he has the mind set of a beast that cannot be stopped! When I don't have that drive or motivation to do something that in any day, I look to Brogan to feed off his mind set and intensity. He has all my respect in this world."

What are your goals regarding playing football in college?
"My goal is to play in college and get into a great school that will also challenge me academically."

Would you consider staying in state to play in college?
"I would consider it but then I really want to go out of state to get a different life experience and to experience being out on my own to grow up a little bit."

What would your top 5 college choices be?
"Top five would be Stanford, Harvard, Penn, Yale, and Oregon."

Who is the best player you ever played against? Why?
"It would have to be Davonte Neal because he was a threat on all aspects of the ball."

What other sports do you play?
"I play Lacrosse, Track, and Soccer."

What are your best max lifts in the bench, squat, power clean and 40 yard dash?
"Bench- 315, Squat- 420, Power Clean 265x4, (have not maxed out) and 40- 4.6."

How do you think your coach would describe you as a player?
"I think Coach Bene would describe me as a hard worker, go getter, intense, game changing, and a leader."

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
"Strengths- Strong, Explosive, agile, and a smartness for the game. Weaknesses- Not too much of break away speed, and look to much to run people over."

Who is your favorite athlete and why?
"My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson. He is my favorite athlete because he was well rounded in every aspect of his game! He was big, strong, fast, elusive and a back that can do it all. He was also an all around athlete that went professional in another sport."

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
"Repetition is the mother of skill" which taught me that if you want to be perfect or great at something, you have to repeat numerous times to master it!"

Tell us what can we expect from your team this season?
"You guys can expect a lot from my team this year. You can expect for us to go far into the season because we have been working our tails off to reach our main goal, a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. You can expect for us to not let up and keep on it no matter what!"

What position do you think you will play in college?
"I think I could play Tailback. A college program can expect for me to be a leader and a player that they can count on when they need anything done. I could be that type of player because that is my personality, when my coach demands, I produce. Simple as that."

What is your GPA and SAT/ACT score?
"My GPA is a 4.186 and I have yet to take my SAT and ACT."

What will the main factors be when you choose a school?
"Academics, Athletics, Geography, playing time, and weather."


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