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5 Takeaways: Quentin Johnston Fired Up to be With Chargers

5Takes QJ

Quentin Johnston has arrived in Southern California.

The Bolts first-round pick flew in Friday morning and got a tour of Hoag Performance Center before chatting with local beat reporters.

Here are five takeaways from Johnston's introductory press conference:

1. He's fired up to be a Charger

It's been a wild past 24 hours for Johnston, who waited with anticipation before the Bolts called to take him at No. 21 on Thursday night.

Then came the emotions for realizing his dream of making it to the NFL, plus celebrations with his family and friends.

Johnston recalled the whirlwind of the past day or so.

"It's been a quick turnaround with getting picked and coming here, super quick," Johnston said. "It's been a mix of emotions. I didn't know whether to smile, do a back flip or cry.

"It's been fun. It was, obviously, a special experience for me and also my family, as well," Johnston added.

Wait, a backflip? Can the 6-foot-3, 208-pound Johnston actually do one of those?

"Yes, 100 percent," Johnston said.

He was then encouraged to give it a try, but Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco chimed in from the back of the room.

"No, no, no," Telesco quipped.

Instead, the permanent smile on Johnston's face told the story of how fired up he is to be with the Bolts.

2. A special number

Johnston will wear some familiar digits with the Chargers as he is staying with No. 1, the same number he wore at TCU.

Johnston explained that he wore the same number in the final two years of high school and how he chose it when he got to college.

"Going into college, I was in a good situation at TCU; our top receiver was going out — [Vikings WR] Jalen Reagor — he had No. 1, then when I came in, I wasn't expecting to get that number so early," Johnston said. "I was like, 'I'm probably going to have to work my way up.' Then, we had a photo shoot. I went to the end looking for my jersey and they said, 'Your name is over there with the 1.'

"But, obviously, I knew that that came with a lot," Johnston added. "It kind of just made me want to fight more at practice, do the little things to show that I deserved to have that number."

Even now in the NFL, Johnston said he'll continue to keep the same mindset and work ethic ... with the same number, too.

"I feel like that number comes with a lot," Johnston said. "A lot is expected of you. If you have that 1, you go on the field and look at a guy with No. 1 and go, 'OK, he must be doing something.'"

3. Ties to Texas

Johnston is a Texas native who grew up in Temple before choosing to play for the Horned Frogs in college.

But he's ready for a new chapter in his life out on the West Coast.

"I like it. I've been in Texas all my life. To kind of step out of that, I feel like this is the best place for me, for sure," Johnston said. "As soon as I got off the plane, I'm like, 'Yeah, I can feel it.' Then, I saw my jersey. I met a few people. I'm already liking it."

Johnston said he'll keep his Texas roots, however, and cherishes his time in the Lone Star State.

One of his favorite memories was helping coach a youth flag football team while at TCU.

"They needed extra coaches. At first, I wasn't very vocal, outspoken guy. I was kind of quiet, staying to myself," Johnston said. "They were taking volunteers. They didn't make me do it, but I'm like, 'I probably need to do it to get outside of my comfort zone and put myself in a different space.' I'm glad that I did."

Take a look through some photos of the Chargers 2023 first-round Draft pick, wide receiver Quentin Johnston from Texas Christian University.

4. Proud of his upbringing

Johnston credited his parents, Sherry and Carl, for a strong upbringing and for helping him get to this point.

Both were Army veterans, with Sherry serving during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, while Carl was in Kuwait in 1995.

"Both of my parents were in the Army. The baseline of who I am, of Quentin, is based on discipline and respect," Johnston said. "That's something that I feel like has stayed with me from the time I could talk until now, and something that I'm going to keep doing.

"There was a lot of waking up early in the morning just to do whatever — a lot of everything, being on-point. I got used to it and that's just how I move now," Johnston added.

When asked for his biggest inspiration, Johnston referenced his parents again.

"That's who I am, as a person. I see a lot of myself in them, whether it's something that I say, it's something that my Dad would do," Johnston said. "For sure, them."

He later added: "My dad taught me not to go into anything thinking that you're just going to slack off or quit midway through. Whatever you do, do it 100 percent, full-speed ahead. That's my mindset going into anything."

5. All about powder blue

Johnston hasn't wasted any time getting familiar with the Bolts.

"That's the only thing that you'll find in my Google search right now," Johnston said with a laugh. "Instagram searches, everything. I've been doing as much as I can to get familiar with everything and everybody before I got here."

One person Johnston didn't have to learn much about was Justin Herbert.

"No, I already know about him," Johnston said. "I didn't have to go back and look those up. It definitely didn't hurt to go back and do it again. I'm excited to get to work."

And on Day 1 as a Charger, Johnston said he can't wait to get to work with the Bolts franchise quarterback.

"Everything is on-point. He is always calm in the pocket," Johnston said. "I feel like he is one of those guys that doesn't get too high or too low."

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