LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - You may recognize former New Mexico State defensive back Darien Johnson, but these days it might help if he’s not wearing a shirt!
That's because Johnson, who played cornerback at New Mexico State from 2010-2013, is now an internet sensation fitness trainer after posting his super-human workouts to social media.
“Well I know I’m known as the "Ab Guy,'" says Johnson of his fitness reputation. "So I kind of of just created a big following off the core workouts.”
But Johnson’s torso took shape when he arrived at NMSU in 2010, after football coaches told him he needed to hit the gym to see the field.
"When I got to New Mexico State, I had to start working out, but I had to play right away and I think I was around 164. Coach told me, 'Hey man you gotta put on some weight," says Johnson of his starting weight at NMSU.
“I remember I was living on campus and I would go at the end of practice and I would go to the activities center and I would work out by myself at the gym. I just fell in love with doing it. It was peaceful and it was just fun."
"So I carried that with me. Once I was done playing, it was always fitness. Even on my social media, I was always posting about fitness stuff posting myself working out. So it just made sense for me to jump into it, and I did and it worked out."
Johnson used the shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic to his advantage.
When gyms closed their doors due to COIVD-19, Johnson built a 250,000,000 person following by posting his workouts online.
His latest viral video was even picked up by ESPN.
Johnson says he still keeps up with New Mexico State's football program, and looks back on his time with the Aggies fondly. He even attended the 2017 Arizona Bowl win over Utah State.
He finished his Aggies' career with an interception, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
Now based in California, you can keep up with Johnson on Instagram and other social media platforms.