Aug. 28, 2003
If Washington is to return to the Rose Bowl in 2003, much of the credit will likely be given to an improved Husky defensive line, led by senior Terry Johnson. Known as "Tank" to his teammates, Johnson totaled 9.5 tackles for loss in 2002, and tied for third on the team with five sacks. Opposing quarterbacks, however, managed record-setting efforts against the Huskies early in the season, leading Washington's defensive linemen to regroup and attack their offseason workouts with a focus on dominating in the trenches in 2003. The team's confidence in its line was evident when, in August, Johnson was voted one of three team captains, along with quarterback Cody Pickett and linebacker Greg Carothers. GoHuskies.com correspondent C.J. Bowles did his best to slow Tank down long enough to ask him a few questions in the days leading up to the Huskies' season-opener at Ohio State.
GoHuskies.com: If you could pick a different nickname besides "Tank," what would it be?
Terry Johnson: "I'd have to say 'Bones'. I've always had big bones, so my dad called me that and I liked it."
GH: On game day, what's your "pump up" music before the game?
Johnson: "I'm listening to a little bit of Lil' John, Eastside Boyz, all that down-south music. I love music and I love rhythmic beats and those guys really get me going before a game."
GH: How about when the games over and you're at the Saturday night party, then what's in the CD player?
Johnson: "Lil' John and Eastside Boyz. I'm staying current; I'm a get-hyped kind of guy."
GH:How long have you been growing those awesome locks of hair?
Johnson: "I've had them growing for about two years now. Playing defensive line, you bang your head so much, I need some permanent cushion up there."
GH: But secretly, Tank, is the hair for intimidation, or for the ladies?
Johnson: "Neither! Girls don't like dead hair on some dreadlocks, and no one is intimidated by long hair, so it's basically just for cushion."
GH: Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
Johnson: "On my wrist tapes I always write, 'Free Jason Meeks' and 'Free Jeremiah Pharms'' Those are two of my good friends who are incarcerated right now. Knowing that I am out here and able to play this game and they can not gives me more motivation to play."
GH: What's the meal you would like to be eating Friday night before game day?
Johnson: "Olive Garden. I love Olive Garden; I can eat it before anything."
GH: You were recently voted captain by your teammates; what does that mean to you?
Johnson: "For me it's an honor; not just anyone can be named captain. It's hard to be a captain; you have to be setting the standard all the time. When you're tired you have to look at the guys who are younger than you and tell yourself, 'Those guys aren't tired, I have to suck it up and play for my team.'"
GH: Being a senior leader, have you taken any players under your wing and shown them the ropes as a Husky?
Johnson: "I've taken a couple of freshmen under my wing, but more sophomores, because Stan Daniels and Dan Milsten are guys who are going to be coming up into their own when we leave next year. Those are a couple of guys who I want to know the game before I leave."
GH: You lived in Indiana, then moved to Arizona for awhile, now you make your home in Seattle. Where have you most enjoyed living?
Johnson: "I'd have to say Arizona, because it's hot all the time. You don't have a doubt in your mind when you wake up in the morning that you're going to wear a tank top and some shorts out."
GH: So when you're getting dressed for a night out, which is more crucial for completing the outfit, a pair of shoes or a hat?
Johnson: "You have to have both. No doubt, you have to have both."
GH: Are you into video games?
Johnson: "I am. I'm not very good, but I love to challenge people. College Football 2004 is definitely my favorite game right now."
GH: If you could be one comic book character who would it be?
Johnson: "I wasn't too into comic books growing up, but you know who I want to be? The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk is the man; he just beats the heck out of everything. I like that."
GH: Finally, give me one outlandishly bold prediction about the upcoming season for the Washington Huskies.
Johnson: "If everyone does their part, Cody Pickett will win the Heisman Trophy."