Eagles WR Marcus Johnson personal connection to Houston

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Watch the report from Walter Perez on Action News at 4 p.m. on Aug. 28, 2017. (WPVI)

NFL players across the league with ties to the Houston area are feeling the impacts of Harvey, and that includes Eagles wide receiver Marcus Johnson, who still has family there.

Anyone who has played sports, especially on the professional level, will tell you it takes a tremendous amount of preparation and focus.

But how do you stay focused when you know you have loved ones in harm's way? That's a struggle Marcus Johnson can tell you all about.

Johnson has been turning heads this pre-season, including a nice grab to put six on the board last Thursday against the Dolphins. But the 23-year-old admits, staying focused has been difficult over the past few days.

"My godmother, both of her homes flooded. And then I had other family in Dickenson that have flooding in their homes. So, it's a tough situation," he said.

In fact, Johnson says his entire extended family lives in Texas, with most of them residing in the Houston-area.

He says once he realized just how dire the situation was becoming he quickly contacted his parents.

"My immediate family's doing OK. I have other family members who are struggling right now. So, it's tough, but at the same time I just continue to pray. And if I can help, I will," Johnson said.

The University of Texas stand-out spent time on the Eagles' practice squad last year before really making a name for himself over the past few weeks.

Johnson says he's heartbroken knowing that the people who helped him follow his passion and improve his game are in trouble.

"I trained in Houston this whole off season. A lot of close people who have helped me get my game to where it is right now, and to be able to do the things that I'm doing, you know, they're struggling - training facilities, homes. Really people that are close to me," he said.

And as he fights for a roster spot with the Birds, his plan is to simply do anything he can possibly do to help the community that he calls "home."

"I'm strong in my faith. I'm going to continue to pray for them. And when I get the opportunity to go back, whenever that may be, I definitely want to help people rebuild homes, or whatever I can do to just give back to the community," he said.

The Eagles signed a couple of receivers during the spring and got two more during the Draft, and then you have Nelson Agholor. So, Johnson is really fighting for a spot on the roster at this point. But he says his family tells him to not worry so much about them, and to keep fighting to make his dream come true.
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