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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Joshua Johnston, WR, Colorado School of Mines

Joshua Johnston the standout wide receiver from Colorado School of Mines recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
Joshua Johnston the standout wide receiver from Colorado School of Mines recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Joshua Johnston
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • College: Colorado School of Mines
  • Height: 6’1
  • Weight: 202
  • Twitter: jjohnston240
  • Instagram: joshjohnston240

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2023 NFL Draft?

What makes me a top prospect in this year’s draft is my ability to aggressively attack the ball, play smart football, and contribute a relentless work ethic to make my team better. I am a physical receiver who has proven against any type of opponent that I have an innate ability to highpoint the football and come down with contested catches consistently. In my career at the rigorous academic institution of the Colorado School of Mines I learned to analyze situations critically in the classroom as well as the field, which allows me to quickly pick up offensive and defensive schemes in a new environment so that I can get on the field wherever and whenever needed. I love this game and have always given my all to it no matter the circumstance, whether that is getting extra reps with the quarterbacks after practice or studying film before a calculus test, I am conditioned to make any commitment necessary to contribute to the goals of any team that gives me a chance.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

That would have to be when Shaun Alexander took the Seahawks to the Superbowl against the Steelers in 2005. We lost that one but I remember watching Alexander run through guys and thinking I wanted to do that. I was seven and started tackle football the next year playing running back and defensive end.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

I’ll never leave a situation on a bad note, whether that’s a dropped pass, missed block, unclear responsibility, or bitter conversation, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions and tell me when to shut up if you have to.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

The first cause I would donate to would be the NWF Wildlife Conservation. Growing up with access to the mountains and waters of Northwestern Washington has instilled a love for the outdoors and the wildlife it holds, and I think any program dedicated to preserving and promoting these spaces around the country as well as finding clean water solutions for our nation’s people is a good place to put your money.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

You’ll never fail if you never set expectations. Don’t fear failure, fear never failing.

Who was your childhood hero?

Big Papi. Still is. Unbreakable confidence and a man of the people!

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

There are a lot of ballers on the Orediggers but right now I’d have to stay in the wide receiver room (The Wolfpack) and go with my dude Max Mcleod. He’s got untouchable speed, matchup problem size, and some pretty crazy acrobatic playmaking ability. Look out for him to light up the stat leaderboard next season.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I’m not sure if this counts but I’ll go with getting new shoes dirty. Nothing worse.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

The hardest moment of my life happened this December in the Division two National Championship game when I dropped a pass that led to a pick 6 at the end of the first half when we were down big. Sitting in the quiet locker room immediately after that was one of the most painful feelings I have ever had, but I had to face the fact that no matter what it would be my last time in my college uniform. I would never be able to see our dedicated fans, my best friends, and my coaches on a football field together again, so I promised myself that I would leave it all on the field in the second half instead of hanging my head and accepting the defeat. While the loss still hurt, I battled the whole second half and came back with 80 yards and a touchdown, knowing that I would never look back at the game with the pain of giving up.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

The bonds I created with my teammates at Mines are something I will never forget. Because the academic side is so rigorous, (everybody is getting an engineering degree) those who commit to play football are high quality guys who embrace challenges and are willing to do anything for each other. We stayed together in the classroom and on the field, and after staying up all night studying for a test, a break to go out and play some football felt like a treat that made the game feel much more like a blessing than a chore. It’s hard to put into words what everybody on that team means to me, but they were people who you want to keep in your life way past graduation.

What is your favorite snack food?

Cracked pepper beef jerky. Delicious and nutritious.

What is the best part of football?

You can’t hide weaknesses on a football field. You have to truly dedicate yourself to eliminating any soft spots in your game if you want to be successful. I think this is a lesson that can be applied to many areas of life.I also love the guys football attracts and getting to know my team, cohesiveness of a team is really important to me. Just guys being dudes!

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

Any team that picks me up is going to get a smart player that refuses to lose.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

Adam Thielen. I hope he watched our game against his former school Minnesota Mankato this year!

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Michael Jordan, Brad Pitt, My Mom’s Father. I’d like to talk to Michael Jordan about what it takes to truly achieve greatness, and how to continue to exceed the expectations that come with that. Brad Pitt would add a lot of life to the conversation and was my favorite actor growing up ever since watching A River Runs Through it on DVD over and over. Finally, I’d love to get to know my Mother’s father, who passed away when she was young but was a true gentleman. He played college football as well and I would be very grateful to hear some stories of my family and the experiences of his life.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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