Johnson feels at home with Bucs -- and with their draft picks
Leonard Johnson felt right at home this weekend. Not just because the Iowa State cornerback had signed with his hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent, although that was quite a thrill.
His comfort level was the result of being picked to work on a separate field during the three-day mini-camp with the team’s draft picks, right where Johnson always believed he belonged.
“I came in not knowing what to expect and here I am with the drafted guys,’’ said Johnson, the former Largo High School quarterback. “So, we all blend in now. Someone told me yesterday, “it’s not how you get here, it’s what you do once you’re here.’ And that just said it all. So I’m excited.’’
It didn’t hurt that Johnson played well in the Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers and Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who watched all 12 of Iowa State’s games in preparation for that game. The Scarlet Knights won 27-13, but Johnson played well against Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu, limiting him to six catches for 62 yards. Sanu was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I’m past it. The draft was something I was really, really looking forward to just because a lot went into my preparation and the game film,’’ Johnson said. “So I was expecting something to come through on draft day. But God works in mysterious ways. I’m more than happy to be right here at home.’’