Former College Player Helps Future Player Earn Scholarship - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former College Player Helps Future Player Earn Scholarship

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, Wash. - High school student-athletes need more than natural talent to play at the collegiate level and succeed.  But one man who gave that extra push for a local senior.

Xavier Johnson has always had skill on the football field, but when Hanford High School volunteer couch Scott Piippo saw Johnson, he knew Johnson could be something special.

"And he just walks up to me and was like, 'Hey Austin and I are going to lift tomorrow at the gym 5 o'clock. Either you in or you out. You can think about it in a day or so but just let me know.' The next day I showed up at the gym and we just started kinda lifting ever since. And he, he's been helping me train for college as well," said Johnson.

Piippo played middle linebacker at Central Washington University and approached Johnson with a proposition.

"(Keep) a 3.75 GPA or better at all times, no smoking, no smoking drinking, no illegal stuff. You need to pay it forward when your opportunity comes to another younger kid. Doesn't matter what color uniform they're wearing or any of that. And you need to be a community volunteer and go out and do positive stuff for other people," said Piippo, about the deal. 

Johnson agreed to the deal and began working out, and began to see results.

"The learning curve was pretty drastic, I was, at the rate I was going I probably never would have gotten a football scholarship, but with his help he made it possible for me to go someplace and play football," tells Johnson.

Johnson will play for Carroll College next year and is already beginning to pay it forward. In Richland Shaun Sheddy SWX Right Now.