Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Area College Athletes: Florida State's Johnson Wants to Build on 2014

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Area College Athletes: Florida State's Johnson Wants to Build on 2014

Article excerpt

Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher saw something special in Roderick Johnson, the former Hazelwood Central standout offensive lineman who worked his way into the Seminoles' starting lineup late in the 2014 season.

"He didn't seem like the typical freshman," Fisher recently told www.tallahassee.com. "He (was) 18 or 19 going on 35. His intelligence, work ethic and those kinds of things, he's got some great, great qualities about him. He really does."

Once he became a starter, Johnson quickly earned the praise of Florida State veterans, including quarterback Jameis Winston, the eventual Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 NFL draft pick. Winston went public on several occasions in his praise of "Big Rod," who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 325 pounds.

Johnson took all of the plaudits in stride and has built on that late-season success. He enters the Seminoles' opener Saturday against Texas State a consensus All-Atlantic Coast Conference preseason pick. That follows his inclusion on four separate freshman All-America teams last December.

"It takes a while, and a lot of work," Johnson said. "But I tell you, it happens fast."

Johnson made it clear that overconfidence will not be a problem in his sophomore season.

"There is always room for improvement," he said.

MARTIN STREAK INTACT

Northwestern senior field hockey standout Charlotte Martin (John Burroughs) has started every match for the Wildcats since her freshman season. The streak stands at 65 going into Saturday's game vs. Duke in Lancaster, Pa. The game is a rematch of last November's first-round NCAA Tournament matchup between the schools, won by Duke 2-1.

A midfielder, Martin was a first-team coaches all-region pick as a junior, when she led Northwestern with 17 assists. Northwestern (1- 1) is coming off a 16-7 season that included a 6-2 finish in the Big Ten.

QUIGLEY, CHEADLE ARE FINALISTS

Former Florida State track and cross country All-American Colleen Quigley (Nerinx Hall), who finished 12th in the recent IAAF 3,000- meter steeplechase world championships in Beijing, is one of 30 finalists for NCAA woman of the year.

Female athletes from all three of the NCAA divisions were among an original list of 480 nominees. The woman of the year selection committee will narrow the list to a final nine leading up to an Oct. 18 ceremony in Indianapolis. The woman of the year award dates to 1991.

"The NCAA woman of the year award recognizes that we are more than just athletes, and I am honored to be mentioned among this list of powerful, talented, driven and successful women," Quigley said.

Also among the final 30 is Washington University's Lucy Cheadle, a 13-time All-American in cross country and track who won a combined five national titles.

FITZGERALD LOOKS FOR FULL SEASON

Villanova sophomore defensive specialist Allie Fitzgerald (Visitation) is eyeing a repeat of her freshman volleyball season at the Big East school with one exception. …

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