The internet is going crazy over 12-year-old Texas football player Jeremiah Johnson. The 5’11 198-pound preteen has gone viral after winning the 2022 Youth National Championship MVP trophy. In photos and videos Johnson has a full mustache and looks much older. But if we’re all being honest, we’ve all seen multiple people like him before.
THIS KID IS REALLY ONLY 12 YEARS OLD 🤯
(via callme_mr.4x_/IG, hoodnews24/TT) pic.twitter.com/ScOuSXjZaM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 14, 2022
We All Knew A Jeremiah Johnson
If you grew up playing competitive sports, not recreation league, there was always at least one kid in every sport who looked like he was 12 playing 10 and under or 15 playing in 12 and under.
You would know this by all the obvious markers. He was considerably bigger than everyone, had facial hair, and just overall seemed way too big compared to his peers. That player was a physical outlier.
News flash, physical outliers have existed for the entirety of the human existence.
— Jeremiah Johnson aka Mr.4x (@jeremiah_3x) December 12, 2022
But because our human brains are often feeble and can’t process things we see, the response is to otherize, make fun, say the person is not what they seem. It’s a tried and true human response.
No doubt there will be a full blown investigation into Johnson including pulling his original birth records. We all know there is one thing people can’t stand, and that’s lying about ages in youth sports. There will be an aggrieved group of parents leading the charge. So if he isn’t how old he says he is, we will know the truth soon enough.
Johnson appears to be using his moment of fame to increase subscribers to his YouTube channel, his social media accounts, etc. If he is indeed the age he says he is, he will have more eyeballs on him than ever. If his goal is to play football at the highest level, the notoriety will help.
But there is another side to the preternaturally built 12 year old. There is no guarantee that player plays high level high school, college or pro ball just because he’s dominating and physically imposing as a 12 year old.
What often happens to a lot of athletes like this is, they hit their growth spurt early. They don’t grow much more after and it becomes evident that the reason for their dominance was being bigger, faster, and stronger than everyone else. By the time their peers catch up, the dominance is gone for many.
The success fools athletes, parents, and some coaches into believing they’ve got it made. The athlete does not develop their fundamental skills and IQ for the sport, and they become average or below average and all that hemming and hawing when they were 12 was for nothing.
Miami Dolphins All-Pro Tyreek Hill jokes about Johnson on Twitter, saying he won’t let his 12 year old play football due to Johnson’s size.
If that 12 year old really 12 my son not playing football, these kids built different 😂
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) December 13, 2022
Shana Evans, who is believed to be his mother, posted a message on Facebook addressing some of her son’s critics.
Before I lay it down I just want y’all to know….my baby going viral. These folks is going in…SO….Yes he’s on 12U (he meets ALL of the requirements). No the tattoo isn’t real (duh) Yes the goatee is tho
Again, if there is anything untoward happening with Johnson being older than stated, we will find out before long.