How Raiders G Jackson Powers-Johnson Got Into Football

Las Vegas Raiders guard Jackson Powers-Johnson used football as a solution to a problem early in his life.
Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58)
Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Las Vegas Raiders guard Jackson Powers-Johnson was recently selected in the second round of a very talented NFL Draft class.

He was one of the best centers in college football last season and finished his collegiate career at Oregon as an All-American.

Life wasn't always this pleasant for Powers-Johnson, though.

He was picked on at a young age for his weight, but while that's served as a low point in his life, Powers-Johnson used it to ignite the best decision he ever made.

"I got into this game for, pretty much, my mental health," Powers-Johnson told reporters on Friday. "I was a big, chubby kid growing up, and I got bullied. My baseball coach is like, 'You know, you can hit those guys and not get in trouble.' And that's kind of how I got into it, and ever since then, I think my physicality and violence has kind of turned into more protection.

"I think there's no better honor or privilege than to protect somebody. You think about our armed forces, you think about our police, you think about all of them protecting us, that's what we get to do on the field. So, it's a humbling thing for me to do, and it's exciting as well."

All these years later, Powers-Johnson is an NFL football player. His hard work and dedication has gotten him to this point, but there is always going to be more for him to prove. So, far though, it's safe to say he got the last laugh when it came to those bullies.

Powers-Johnson played three seasons at Oregon. He played in all but two of the Ducks' games in that span and developed into the best offensive lineman on one of the best teams in the Pac-12.

The Outland Trophy semifinalist anchored an offensive line that finished No. 1 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed two consecutive years.

Powers-Johnson will play guard for the Raiders, who locked up their primary center, Andre James, with an extension this offseason. The rookie will be joining a very talented offensive line room, so there is still some competition to earn a starting job.

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Aidan Champion