Mack’s Johnson gets academic scholarship to Cal

McClymonds High football player Denzale Johnson earned a four-year academic scholarship to Cal, where he will try to walk on to the football team.
Johnson was a 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back/linebacker for the Warriors, who went 12-0 and won the Oakland Section’s Silver Bowl. He carries a 4.0 GPA at McClymonds, according to Warriors coach Curtis McCauley.
Johnson was a second-team All-City selection at running back. He carried 95 times for 587 yards and eight touchdowns, despite battling an early season hamstring injury that forced him to miss one game. He was also among the team’s leading tacklers on defense.
“It’s just a huge accomplishment for a player to come out of West Oakland and get a scholarship,” McClymonds coach Curtis McCauley said.
McCauley said Johnson could play strong safety or special teams if he earns a spot on the Golden Bears roster.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • E_CULB

    Way to go Denzale that is a huge accomplishment! I’m extermeley proud of you.

  • S1lverngreen

    This is a great story Jimmy! Congratulations Mr. Johnson and best of luck to you as a Golden Bear!

  • Cousin Ree McGhee

    Thanks Jimmy for your article that shows that a young black man from West Oakland’s McClymonds High is taking care of business in the classroom. Academic success cannot be coached and Denzale is a great example of what happens when you work hard in the classroom. Denzale, is a diamond in the rough who usually doesn’t get the recognition he deserves as a ACADEMIC-SCHOLAR. He has excelled at the top of his class since he was in the 3rd grade and has always put academics above sports although he has excelled on the football field. We are so proud of him especially since he will become a Cal Bear like his Cousins: Brian McGhee c/o 1990, Vanessa Jennings and Alexis Gray-Lawson c/o 2010 & Danyale Willingham c/o 2013. ROAR ALL YOU BEARS!!!! Again, thank you Jimmy for the great article!!!!

  • Erika L. Adams

    This is so wonderful to hear! Please keep sharing the MANY success stories of our Oakland youth!!

  • Cousin Brian McGhee

    Great article Jimmy on my cousin Denzale. I am very proud of his academic and athletic accomplishments over the past four years of high school. I’ve witnessed him work hard in the classroom and on the football field. He is a very humble young man with great potential. I know he will do well at Cal. Welcome to the Bear Family. Go Bears!!!

  • Cousin Ree McGhee

    Great article Jimmy! Denzale is an ACADEMIC-SCHOLAR that happens to be a great athlete……thanks for giving him the overdue recognition he deserves. GO BEARS! Proud Cousin Ree….

  • Dyamond K.F

    Thank you for recognizing my younger cousin Denzale and his accomplishments. I can say that Denzale is a very kind-hearted spirit, who puts God first in everything he does. He is a great person, very intelligent and a great sportsman! I pray that Denzale continues to overcome any obstacles and God continues to find favor over him, so Denzale can give back to his community and continue to be a positive role model.
    Thanks again!
    Dyamond K. F.

  • KillerD

    A heartwarming story like this one, truly put the STUDENT back into the moniker of student-athlete.

    Congratulations on a great job to the young man!

  • April Littlefield

    Not only is Denzale smart/athletic, he is also very responsible, sincere and dedicated. He has been dating the same young lady in high school since 10th grade. He is such a gentleman and takes her on dates and to family functions. He also saves his money, is responsible with his ATM/credit and when he wanted to learn to drive, he awoke early every weekday and arrived to school via public transportation (before school started) to obtain his goal and took drivers ed….u talking about strong, will minded and responsible! Go Chuck!

  • ManDown

    Congratulations Mr. Johnson. You deserve this special opportunity from all the hard work that yoy put in to put yourself in this position. Keep up the good work Sir!

  • Donnetta Dozier

    I am so proud of you son. You are so humble, dedicated and committed. I always told you hard work would pay off and this proves it! Keep up the good work and always always put God first, Love you and mommie always on her knees praying for you and your siblings!

  • BeachNutt

    It’s a very proud day, when a dad can sit back and watch the whole community celebrate his son. This is an outstanding article , highlighting the accomplishments of a very deserving young man. Denzale wasn’t just a superb athlete but a very exceptional student and person as well. He has truly earned every accolade that has come his way, and he is sure to earn even more. He has the work ethic , the desire, and the spirit to become a role model, not only to his siblings and peers, but for the whole community. I am very very fortunate for having had the chance to be apart of his upbringing and I look forward to many more moments like this.. You represent us well Chuck, thank you for being you!!

  • Monica Dozier-Brame

    I honestly can say Denzale TRULY deserve this. He is such a very good young man who never been in trouble coming up very respectful and just a good kid overall! I applaud Denzale for his accomplishments being that he stayed focused and didn’t get involved with any activities which will allow him to be another stereotype of an African American man. My hat off to you Chuck and I so happy for you and wish you nothing but the best! I love you and as my favorite sayin “HIT HARD CHUCK!!” WOOHOO!!

  • Tyron Molson

    Congratulations, Big Nephew. Ian so Happy for u. I thank God first. For ur success.
    Iam Praying for u . And believe me when I say this, hav Faith in all that u do. And nothing
    Can stop u. Love u man, a.k.a Chuckie.

  • Rauxge’

    Congradualations young man I wish u tha best Rauxge’

  • Lefika

    Thank you for acknowledging Denzale’s accomplishments, especially because sometimes not enough emphasis is placed on academic achievement. I have the good fortune of knowing him and his family for several years and I can only reiterate what everyone else here has written about him. He’s a young man any parent would love to have. A true leader who leads by example. My hat goes off to you Mr. Johnson, and much respect to your wonderful family for producing a GREAT example for others to follow.

  • Linda Nevels

    Denzale very super proud of him ,seeing him as getting the job done. Very well aspiring young man.

  • Lauryn Johnson

    I am very proud of my brother and I am very honored to be his little sister. I myself am going to UC DAVIS to be a brain surgeon so I can operate on his brian. I love both all my brothers and they love me, I am the baby hahahaha…

  • Bitty

    Congratulations Denzale! You are destined to do great things in your life! The sky is the limit! Best wishes always!

  • Maxine Dozier

    Congrats Denzale(Chuck)!!!! I truly must state” That God couldn’t have blessed a well deserving indivdual with this scholarship. I’m very proud of him and confident he will be a great access to the Cal Family.” All Glory to God!!! Love Auntie Mack!!!

  • Joe

    “He has excelled at the top of his class since he was in the 3rd grade and has always put academics above sports”


  • M.V.P Marcus_Peters

    Congratulations to my brother from the “Mack Family” Chuck. Its good to see two kids come out of West Oakland (born on the same day) make into grade A universitys. Look forward to see you doing yo thang at Cal, but you know its Huskies… Go Dowgs

  • Danyale Willignham

    I just wanted to say congrats to my cousin Chuck. I knew he could do it and I will be looking forward to him coming to Cal with me for my last two years. We gone have a lot of fun. Love “Danny Bo” as he would call me.

  • Kevin jennings

    This a nice highlight of the great accomolishments of my little cousin Denzale. He has been a leader all year long and a great example of hard work paying off. He is one of the leaders of change for our future and will have everything in life he wants because he works hard to get it. Congradulations denzale!!!!

  • THEanonymous

    This offers some of the best inspiration that could ever be offered on the prep corner. But even more importantly, it inspires the youth of the bay area’s most dangerous city to stay away from the drugs and gangs, in ways I have not really seen the Oakland government do so sufficiently. What this kid did, the adversity he overcame, was something most of us have never seen and so no matter how flawed our athletic programs are, we should appreciate what we have at least a little bit.


    Congratulations young man, it does my heart good to see another WARRIOR go to college and successfully move on to the next phase in your life. It is well deserving!

  • Congrats to Denzale and his parents. I just got chills reading this article. Our kids can not only excel in sports but also in the classroom. I wish you nothing but the best 🙂