Jason Johnson played wide receiver and runningback for the Illinois State Firebirds. He’d be a free agent find of the Denver Broncos in 1988. After spending the first half of the season on injured reserve, he’d return 14 kick offs for 292 yards in 8 games. The Steelers signed Johnson in 1989, and again he’d be relegated to primarily kick and punt return duties.Later Jason would have a try out with the New Orleans Saints but not make the squad.
In 1991, Jason was drafted by the Frankfurt Galaxy of the WLAF in the 3rd round of the league’s positional draft. As Mike Perez‘s favorite target, the speedy receiver caught 38 balls for 635 yards and 4 touchdowns. Against the Skyhawks that season, he’d catch a 59 yard bomb to set up the go ahead score. Johnson also stepped up as Frankfurt’s primary punt returner, fielding 24 kicks for 89 yards. Jason even saw time as an emergency defensive back, intercepting one pass and returning it 17 yards. While the Galaxy finished 7-3, the team did not make the playoffs in 1991.
He’d return to the Galaxy for the 1992 season, but with Perez splitting time with Alex Espinoza behind a leaky offensive line, Johnson saw less looks and consequently- less targets, and the team slumped. Still Jason managed to haul in 22 receptions for 268 yards and a 47 yard touchdown, before the league went on hiatus after the season.
He returned back stateside after that, and his hometown of Gary, Indiana. He worked his way into coaching, and is now a head coach at West Side High School. He wrote me a really nice note on the back of the envelope, telling me that his son was soon going to be in the NFL and that he himself loves Austin and is looking forward to moving here when he retires.
NFL Rec 1 Yds 6 Avg 6.0 Td 0 Lg 6 |
KR 17 Yds 335 Avg 19.7 Td 0 Lg 34
Pr 3 Yds 27 Avg 9.0 Td 0 Lg 13
WLAF Rec 60 Yds 903 Avg 15.1 Td 5 Lg 59
Kr 5 Yds 107 Avg 21.4 Td 0 Lg 26
Pr 24 Yds 89 Avg 3.7 Td 0 Lg 15