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Bison's Kobe Johnson enters junior season donning meaningful number change

The Georgia native is entering his third season as a Bison, but this season he'll be repping a new number.

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North Dakota State running back Kobe Johnson, right, could return this spring season after suffering a knee injury against the University of North Dakota earlier this season. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO -- Since his arrival at North Dakota State University Kobe Johnson has sported the number 24, but as the running back enters his junior season, he'll be wearing a number that has more meaning behind it.

“A lot of people ask me why switch, why switch," said Johnson. "When I’m able to give a story about it, background about it, it’s a great feeling...I actually had this number since my sophomore year in high school. when I had the opportunity to get it I had to grab it."

As soon as the running back stepped foot into the Fargodome, he made an immediate impact on the Bison's offense. During his freshman year, Johnson carried the ball 86 times for 660 yards and four touchdowns.

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While Johnson led the Bison backs with 7.7 yards per carry his freshman year, his sophomore season took an unfortunate turn. Midway through NDSU's game against the University of North Dakota, Johnson suffered a season-ending injury.

The Georgia native is entering his third season as a Bison, but this season he'll be repping a new number, a number that represents more than just himself.

“It’s actually a family thing," said Johnson. "On my fathers side there’s four of us. Me, myself, my younger sister and I have two older brothers, so this number four represents the four of us...it’s very important because growing up, me and my family we’re very close...I say keeping that family oriented mindset is very important to me.”

Not only will it take Bison fans some time to get used to seeing Johnson in the number four, the running back is also taking second looks when he walks past a mirror.

“Honestly, I’ll have to see it on game day. I’m still looking for the game day look with it, but I would say besides that it’s still a little weird. You know but that game day look is for sure going to let me know how I feel about it.“

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