Bond With Younger Brother Has Helped Shape UK Safety David Johnson

Sept. 19, 2001

By Pat Henderson - Host Communications

When people are asked to name the thing they are most proud of in their lives, the answers would be as varied as the people sitting near you in Commonwealth Stadium today. Some typical responses would include mention of promotion with their job, some work or community award they received, having a nice house, providing for family and an occasional "being a good mother."

When the question is posed to a college football player, you'd expect to hear "my high school team winning the state title," "making college All-American" or "the team playing in a New Year's Day bowl game."

But when the question, "What are you most proud of?" is posed to Kentucky safety David Johnson, who could have truthfully responded with any of the three offerings from the previous paragraph, he quickly says, "my little brother, Brandon." "He's only 11, but he makes me proud," said Johnson of his younger brother. "He plays basketball and football and I love to see his games. He's in Virginia Beach, so I don't catch them too often. But I talk to him about every two days."

That tight bond has helped the 6-0, 207-pound junior better understand the importance of setting a good example - whether it is for his brother, or for other kids who look up to college student-athletes. "It makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but it also makes me feel good," Johnson said of living under the watchful eyes of an impressionable younger brother.

Setting an example has also been part of Johnson's football days at Kentucky, according to Cats' assistant coach Larry Hoefer, who is Johnson's position coach."David is valuable to us because he is very intelligent, understands what we're doing and he's a good leader," said Hoefer.