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Football player pointing to the sky as a celebration.
Johnson celebrates a sack against Siena Heights in 2022. Credit: Jaclyn Duke

Some of you may know him as a football captain, others may know him as number 52.

You may also know him as the senior assistant or as the boss of the Marian desk workers. Michael Johnson is a man of many talents.

We know him as Mr. USF.

Originally from Hillside, Illinois, Johnson began his college career at USF in 2019.

He is currently a graduate student with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management undertaking his master’s degree in Management with a concentration in Self-Design.

When asked what encouraged Johnson to stay at USF for five years, he said it was because of the relationships he has built along with the opportunities he has had during his time here.

“The students, staff and faculty of this university are so unique and always bring their authenticity to their work and studies,” Johnson said.

After this statement, it came as no surprise when he told us that his favorite thing about USF is the community.

“The community is always willing to help and assist students with their goals,” Johnson said. “Having the ability to achieve my professional goals with the support and encouragement of my professors and other members of the university has been a blessing.”

Michael is very involved in making the USF community what it is. He is heavily involved with multiple commitments to make student’s lives easier and more enjoyable. “On campus, I have been a Saint’s Ambassador and Resident Assistant in the past and currently a senior assistant along with being a student -athlete,” Johnson said. “I regularly support clubs and organizations on campus such as Black Student’s Association, Asian-American Student’s Association, RHA, and more.”

On top of all of this, Johnson was also captain of the football team this year whose season recently came to an end. The season didn’t go the way anyone wanted, however, in true Mike fashion, when asked about what it was like to be captain of the team throughout their obstacles, he stayed optimistic about the team.

“Being a captain, there has been a lot that I have had to deal with throughout the season,” Johnson said. “Since January of this year, this team has been working hard and staying committed to the goal of winning games and competing for championships. This year, we have gone through much adversity with injuries and changes within the team. Even after starting the year 4-0 and losing close games in the middle of the season, this team never gave up and looked to finish the season on a high note.”

Unfortunately for Johnson, his time on the USF football team is complete, and we have to bid him farewell. But he was able to have some pretty memorable moments along the way.

“Being able to play with my brother Chris was the best part of being on the team,” Johnson said. “I played with him at USF from 2019 to 2021. We were able to win a conference championship in his last year. While I was able to play with him, I was able to make more brothers along the way and establish friendships that I will take after my football career is over.”

Johnson made quite the impact on the USF football team with All-Conference honors in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He has played an integral role in rebuilding the football program into how successful it is today.

“The thing that I will miss most about college football and college in general is the impact that I have made on the USF community,” Johnson said. “When I first arrived, football was not a bright spot at USF. As I end my career, the football program has grown into a contender for conference championships and brings joy to fans who watch the team play every Saturday.”Although he will be missed, Michael’s future is a bright one. He is looking to complete his master’s degree at USF during the summer of 2024. After that, he hopes to spend time traveling and being around friends and family before he starts his professional career.

He has already been offered a full-time position at Deloitte, a big four accounting firm in downtown Chicago, which he is looking to begin in the summer of 2025.

Michael has been an inspiration to us all and USF will not be the same without him.

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