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A long, hard climb for Broncos' Steven Johnson

Updated: November 1, 2012, 4:43 PM ET
By Neal Reid | Special to espnW

Steven Johnson's football career has been one big uphill battle.

Even though he began playing at age 5, Johnson didn't crack the starting lineup at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pa., located outside of Philadelphia, until his senior season. The soft-spoken linebacker made the most of that opportunity, leading the state in tackles and earning all-county honors.

Those feats, however, didn't impress Division I college coaches, who overlooked Johnson. ...

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