Tyrese Johnson couldn’t have been more surprised than when North Mabee Boys & Girls Club leaders Jo Bright and LaTrice Fowlkes told him he was selected to represent the club in the Youth of the Year competition. “My mom thought I was lying,” Tyrese said. “We just didn’t know anything about it.” Tyrese is a 15-year-old sophomore at Edison High School where he plays on the football team. When I met Tyrese, I thought of the phrase “gentle giant.” He said he’s serious in school when he needs to be, but can also make his classmates laugh. Tyrese coaches the boys basketball team at the club where he has been a member since age five.
This is what really impressed me: For years during North Mabee’s football season, Tyrese has been on the field at 6 a.m. on Saturdays to help set up for games. I’m not a morning person, so I’m in awe of him for voluntarily getting up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Tyrese wants to be an NFL football player or an NBA basketball player. If that doesn’t happen, he wants to go into sports medicine. I like a young man with a back up plan. For college, he hopes to be drafted to play sports for Baylor, OSU, or the University of Kansas. Tyrese’s mother is Roshawn Daley. I’m looking forward to meeting her now that I’ve met her remarkable son.