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New Orleans Saints rookie report: Rufus Johnson

Posted Aug 5, 2013

Sixth round pick from Tarleton State making the transition to outside linebacker

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints selected defensive end Rufus Johnson out of Tarleton State in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft. He has converted to the outside linebacker position in the Saints’ new 3-4 defensive alignment.

The Dallas native completed his college career in 20 games with 19 starts, recording 96 tackles (55 solo), 33 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. Johnson finished his senior year leading the Texans with 17.5 stops for a loss and 10 takedowns.

What has been the hardest transition for you so far?
“The biggest transition has been getting used to the pace of the game. Just learning to do the little things right. I noticed in the NFL they focus on the little things, not so much the big things, it’s the little things. I’ve been trying to work on that and just giving great effort every day.”

What have you done to stay safe during this heat?
“Hydrate. Pedialyte. Staying hydrated is really all you can do. The sun is bright and drinking lots of water and Gatorade at night.”

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What veterans have you learned from the most?
Junior Galette has taught me to use my hands a lot more. I already use my hands a lot but he is just fine-tuning me. Will Smith talks to me a lot. Jonathan Vilma pushes me a lot.”

What have you liked most about the city so far?
“I would have to say the people and the southern hospitality so far. I love the people. I’m from Dallas, Texas so it reminds me of Texas. Just the people and the fans.”

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
“I like listening to R&B. I like listening to slow jams before a game.”