Being a star on the football field is nothing new for Neumann-Goretti sophomore Tysheem Johnson. As a freshman last season, Johnson led the Catholic League with eight interceptions and made several postseason all-star teams as a defensive back.
This season, Johnson is showcasing his offensive skills as well. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder exploded for a school-record six touchdowns — one shy of the league record for a game set in 2015 by Rasheem Blackshear of Archbishop Wood — in a 54-14 victory over Bonner-Prendergast.
"It was our first game of the season and … we really didn't know what we had," Neumann-Goretti coach Albie Crosby said.
Crosby found out about Johnson quickly.
Johnson, who already has scholarship offers from Baylor, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, plays safety on defense, running back and receiver on offense and returns punts and kickoffs Against Bonner-Prendergast, he scored on a short run, a 52-yard pick-six interception return, an 80-yard kickoff return, and three pass receptions, one going for 99 yards. Three of the TDs came in the first quarter. For the season, Johnson has 18 receptions for 371 yards and four touchdowns.
"I've had players … that have scored multiple touchdowns," Crosby said. "What made [Johnson's] unique is that he scored his in so many different ways."
Johnson recently recalled how he spent the day before his TD explosion on Sept. 15.
Question: So you wake up. What was your routine ?
Answer: I actually had a pregame workout at 10 a.m. I've never done that before. I worked out with a few of my teammates, Tre'sean Bouie and Khaleef Jones, for about a hour.
Q: After the workout, what came next ?
A: I ate, then took a little nap before the game.
Q: What did you eat that gave you super strength?
A: (He laughs.) Peanut butter sandwiches. That's my go-to.
Q: After the nap, when you got to the locker room, what was your mindset?
A: I keep to myself, really, and listen to music.
Q: Whom do you listen to to put yourself in the zone?
A: Meek Mill. Lil Uzi. Phat Geez. Gunna, and Lil Baby.
Q: Six touchdowns later, how was it after the game? Everybody had to be excited.
A: My teammates were telling me I'm going to get a bunch of [scholarship] offers after a game like this. (He laughs.) The fans after the game came up to me telling me congratulations, hugs and all that. It felt good.
Q: Have you ever had a game like that before?
A: When I was playing Little League, I had five [touchdowns], but scoring six was crazy.
Q: Was it something you were aware of?
A: Once I scored three in the first quarter, Coach Crosby told me, "I need six."
Q: How is your relationship with the coach off the field?
A: We're real close. He always checks on me, makes sure I'm good in school. We're close.
Q: Which touchdown was the best?
A: The kick return felt the best. I went one way, cut back the opposite way to the other side of the field and took it to the crib.
Q: You cap the night off with a celebration?
A: (He laughs) I actually just stayed at one of my friends' house, played video games and got ready for another day.
The Saints (1-3) play Saturday at 6 p.m. against Cardinal O'Hara at the South Philadelphia Supersite at 10th and Bigler Streets.