DOVER – Max Johnson has always dreamed of playing college football.
He took a big step toward making that a reality on Thursday. Johnson signed with Franklin College to continue his academic and football careers on Thursday.
He had a signing ceremony at the school.
“It feels pretty surreal, I have been waiting a while to do this,” Johnson said. “It’s been a childhood dream to play college football, and now I get to make my dream come true.”
Franklin is a NCAA Division III school that plays in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
They finished last year 5-5 and will have a new coach in Alan Hensell.
Johnson said that when he was looking at the school, it reminded him a lot of the Western Boone program.
“The family vibe I got was something that stood out,” Johnson said. “At Western Boone, we have an amazing community, and at Franklin I feel like it can carry over there. I really liked the coaching staff and the team there too.”
Johnson was a second-team all-conference performer for the Stars this year and has been a key fixture on the offensive line as the Stars won back-to-back state championships.
The past two seasons, the Stars rushed for nearly 250 yards a game and 108 touchdowns.
“The coaching staff really liked my aggressiveness,” Johnson said. “I’m not the biggest guy, but they liked that I am aggressive every play. That was something that stood out.”
Since the season ended, Johnson said that he has been working on bulking up to help make the transition to the college game easier.
“I have been working on my strength a lot,” Johnson said. “I have decent speed for a lineman, and have just been working in the weight room a lot and lifting.”
Johnson said when he looks back at his time playing for Western Boone he is going to remember the relationships he created more than anything else.
“The coaches and the players I met along the way are what I will remember,” Johnson said. “It is a family here and it has been like a second family to me.”
Johnson plans on studying secondary education at Franklin.”