• John Macon Gillespie

Dillon Johnson follows footsteps of brother, named to 2019 Elite 10

Dillon Johnson (2) attempts to evade a defender for the Centreville Academy Tigers in the MAIS AA State Championship Game on Nov. 17, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Nikki Thompson, Greenville St. Joseph)

For the St. Joseph Fighting Irish, the name "Johnson" carries a lot of weight.

In 2017, the Irish were led by quarterback Brice Johnson, who signed with the United States Naval Academy as a quarterback and recently transferred to Ole Miss and joined the Rebel football program, to their first state title in school history. After Brice's graduation, quarterback duties fell to his younger brother Dillon, who led Greenville St. Joe to another state title and is now entering his senior season with hopes of giving the Irish a third-straight championship.

Both Brice and Dillon Johnson share more than a last name and championship rings; they are also now both members of the SES Mississippi Elite 10.

The Elite 10 is put forth by the staff of SES Mississippi each offseason, spanning a 10-week period from early June to the first Monday of MHSAA fall practice. A new member is announced each Monday at 10 a.m., and Dillon Johnson found his way onto the list on June 10, joining Madison Central quarterback Jimmy Holiday on the list's 2019 installment.

"It's a huge honor, and I'm very blessed to be named to this group," Johnson said. "I've just got to continue to be humble and keep God first."

For a family with as much athleticism as Johnson's, friendly rivalries were bound to present themselves in their home, which has been the case for brothers Brice and Dillon.

"It's kind of crazy sharing this with my older brother because we used to always argue about who was the better player," Johnson said. "He finally admitted that I was better, but it was all love. But now, me and Brice both are such great players, and our hard work is starting to get recognized."

Johnson's goals don't stop with the Elite 10, however. He has his eyes set on accumulating more honors throughout the offseason and helping his Irish win another state championship.

"[My goals are] winning another state championship, becoming a [Clarion-Ledger] Dandy Dozen and playing in the All-American Game," Johnson said.

Johnson is being highly recruited as a running back for the next level and holds many offers, including several from SEC schools. Johnson states that this recruiting process can be stressful, but that it doesn't serve as a distraction from his high school ball.

"I'm just enjoying the process," Johnson said. "It's fun. It can get stressful sometimes, but it's never a distraction."

For Johnson keeping his head level during his recruitment and ensuring that his 2019 goals become a reality, one thing is crucial: hard work.

"I've just got to keep working hard everyday, meaning taking care of my body, eating correctly and the most important thing is staying in the books."

The next member of the 2019 Elite 10 will be announced on June 17 at 10 a.m.

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