RICHBURG -- All Robert Johnson wanted was a chance to prove he could play college football.
He got it, announcing Thursday that he has signed a scholarship with Benedict.
Johnson led Lewisville in rushing and touchdowns the last two seasons, running for more than 2,400 yards and scoring 25 TDs. With the help of Chester coach Victor Floyd and Lewisville's Floyd Drum, Benedict gave Johnson the opportunity to show what he can do at the next level.
Drum called Floyd and asked if he could help Johnson get to college. Floyd called Benedict, then called Drum and said the coaches wanted videos on Johnson.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"They watched the film and had me down for a workout,'' said Johnson, the son of Julie and Pat Davis. "Benedict's offensive line coach (John Montgomery) sat down and talked with me. He said I was the kind of athlete he was looking for.
"Coach Montgomery told me if I report in good shape on August 2, there is a good chance I'd see playing time my first year. He gave me a workout sheet. I've been running a mile and half in the morning and doing it again in the afternoon. And I've been at the high school lifting weights.''
Johnson flashed his skills as a sophomore by returning several kicks for touchdowns. His junior season, Dadrian Robinson was slated to start at tailback, but Robinson went down early and the job was handed to the speedy Johnson.
He broke a bone in the top of his right hand this year and missed one game. He was cleared and played the rest of the season with his hand taped and helped lead the Lions to the Region 3-A title.
Johnson grew up in Chicago, then lived in Wisconsin. When he was 9, his family moved to Richburg, where his dad grew up and played sports.
"He wanted to move us back here because he wanted us to play for the high school he played for,'' Johnson said. "It was a good move. I've really enjoyed playing for Lewisville and coach Drum.''
Johnson has two younger brothers who play on the varsity. Isaiah is the starting quarterback. Elijah will play wide receiver, cornerback and some tailback.
Drum said it's a privilege that another Lewisville player is going to college on a scholarship to play at the next level.
"Robert made a good decision,'' Drum said. "Benedict is close to home and he gets to play in a new stadium, which opened last year. And we get another kid who's going to the next level.''
Johnson, who also ran track and played baseball this year, plans to major in physical education. He wants to teach and coach after college.