Malik Johnson '15 (62) is a junior offensive lineman for the North Carolina A&T State University football team (Photo: Kevin L. Dorsey/North Carolina A&T Athletics)
Malik Johnson '15, Aggies Making History
Greenie graduate blocks for his college's first 10-0 football team
Malik Johnson '15 is literally front and center for an unprecedented season. Johnson plays on the North Carolina A&T State University football team's offensive line as a backup center. The Aggies improved to 10-0 for the first time in the college's 93-year history with Saturday's 36-17 win over Savannah (Ga.) State. Johnson has one more year to go in Greensboro before he graduates with a Criminal Justice degree. The 6-foot-2, 311-pound junior reflected on what has been a dream season so far.
Question: Not many college football teams at any level are still undefeated. What's it like for yours?
Answer: It's crazy, it's surreal. A lot of people weren't really expecting it. Our running back from last year (Tarik Cohen) got drafted by the Chicago Bears. Without him, a lot of people thought we weren't going to be really good. We're even better than we were before which is awesome. We've only had three home games so far. Homecoming stands out. We packed the stadium out (for a 44-3 win over Delaware State on October 7). Everything was crowded, you couldn't see an empty seat. We've had a lot of games on ESPN3. Everything we are doing is working towards the Celebration Bowl. That's going to be on ABC (on Dec. 16) in Atlanta.
Question: Your offense is averaging nearly 40 points a game, and your quarterback (redshirt junior Lamar Raynard) has passed for a school-record 2,302 yards. What's it like blocking for these guys?
Answer: I'm playing center. I'm able to play five different positions on the offensive line, but I love center. You have to block the whole play because you never whether we're going to run or pass, and we have so many explosive people at so many points. We've got three running backs who can break it at any point, a good quarterback, and three good receivers. You have to make the right calls and know what the defense is going to do before it happens.
Question: You're from Black Mountain, N.C., the same hometown as Keyvaun Cobb '19, Sidney Gibbs '19, and Saevion Gibbs '20. Do you still keep up with how the Christ School football team is doing?
Answer: Definitely. One of my coaches (Shawn Gibbs) is Sidney and Saevion's uncle. What they're doing doesn't surprise me. I've known about those guys for a long time. They're both good. They've been good since they were kids.
Question: When you look back, how do you feel your time at Christ School helped you?
Answer: As far as school goes, I can definitely say I learned time management. I didn't know how to study before I got to Christ School. Outside of the classroom, I will never forget the brotherhood. Especially if you live on campus which I did. I still talk to the guys I lived with once a week. You go through so many changes in life together. There's nothing like it, not even in college.