Jaguars RB D’Ernest Johnson hosts football camp in Immokalee

Author: Zach Oliveri
Published: Updated:

D’Ernerst Johnson has many memories playing on the football field at Immoklaee High School. Saturday became another memory for the Jacksonville Jaguars running back, but not as a player. This time, as a host for his free youth football camp.

“It’s all real good just to come back and give back to your hometown,” Johnson said.


Johnson knows what it means to these kids to see a NFL player from their community. He attended camps like this as a kid run by other local pros such as his cousin, Fred McCrary, and Hall of Famer Edgerrin James.

“He inspired me to make it to the NFL and I’m just trying to do the same thing,” Johnson said. “You know he paved the way. I’m trying to do the same thing he did.”

Boys and girls ranging from age five to 16 ran through various drill such as working the sled and catching passes. But the kids weren’t the only ones participating.

Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Deadrin Senat, another former Immokalee player and childhood friend of Johnson’s, joined in on the fun.

“I know what it meant to me growing up so now that I’m here, I just say what I want to do,” Senat said. “I want to still competing still trying and let them know their journey is just starting. So I’m just happy to be out here with them support them and enjoy this time with them.”

Saturday wasn’t just about helping these kids on the football field. It was an opportunity to teach them skills off the field, based on Johnson’s “Slow Grind” mentality.

“Just focusing on the ultimate goal no matter what your goal is,” Johnson said. “Just stay focus on it. You know it doesn’t come fast it takes time and you just got to know that it’s not going to come when you want it to come. But it’s just going to come when God wants it to come.”

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