The Philadelphia Eagles are slowly beginning to rebuild their roster under Nick Sirianni. And the returning players have begun to embrace an uncertain future with Jalen Hurts at the helm.
All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson will be responsible for protecting Hurts, assuming the 30-year-old is fully healed up from season-ending ankle surgery. Johnson recently commented to the Houston Chronicle that he was excited to work with Hurts and complimented the second-year quarterback for his “young energy.”
“I like Jalen a lot,” Johnson told Aaron Wilson in a telephone interview. “Jalen, he carries himself well. He’s got a lot of poise. He works his tail off. He’s a joy to be around, a joy to play with. He’s got that young energy and that’s what runs this league. I’m excited to have him.”
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Remember, Johnson is a Texas native (Groveton) who grew up about two hours from Hurts’ hometown of Houston. The two also share the same college alma mater after Hurts transferred to Oklahoma for his senior year. Johnson has been following Hurts’ journey dating back to the draft and seemed impressed with his physical tools going into Eagles’ training camp.
“He’s a dynamic athlete. I know he came from Texas so fellow Texas guy … strong, powerful, great athlete,” Johnson said. “I think one thing I like is just his transition from Alabama to Oklahoma and how he handled that situation.”
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Lane Johnson Performance Center Opens
Johnson made a $500,000 donation to Kilgore College in 2019 and the school has now used that money to open the Lane Johnson Performance Center. It’s a massive sports and conditioning complex aimed at molding junior college students into future football stars. The school is a junior college located in Kilgore, Texas.
The Eagles starting right tackle played one season at Kilgore College before transferring to Oklahoma after his freshman year. Johnson was overlooked coming out of high school and Kilgore College was the only school to offer him a college scholarship. He played quarterback and tight end before transitioning to offensive tackle in 2011. More importantly, he never forgot the opportunity the small East Texas junior college provided him.
“It means a whole lot to the people around that can really utilize it,” Johnson told the Eagles’ website. “You get here, man, there’s a lot of hungry people. It’s survival of the fittest, people working their tails off.”
Johnson Expecting Full Recovery
Johnson announced his decision to have season-ending ankle surgery back on Nov. 27. The Pro Bowler indicated it would be a recovery time period of four to five months, but didn’t seem worried about any regression. Johnson expects to play at the same high level that has made him one of the premier players at his position.
“Most definitely,” Johnson said about coming back strong. “I think even though I was hindered this year, I feel like my power was pretty good. But it really doesn’t matter if you’re not out there for a whole games, you’re not playing. My goal is to get healthy. You get paid a lot of money to stay on the field and play. Moving forward that’s all that’s on my mind.”