Rashad Johnson

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Rashad Johnson
refer to caption
Johnson in the 2015 NFL preseason.
No. 26 Arizona Cardinals
Position: Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-01-02) January 2, 1986 (age 30)
Place of birth: Sulligent, Alabama
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 204 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Sulligent (AL)
College: Alabama
NFL draft: 2009 / Round: 3 / Pick: 95
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× First-team All-SEC (2007, 2008)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 8, 2015
Total tackles: 319
Sacks: 1.0
Forced fumbles: 1
Pass deflections: 28
Interceptions: 14
Defensive touchdowns: 3
Player stats at NFL.com

Julian Rashad Johnson (born January 2, 1986) is an American football safety for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Alabama.

Early years[edit]

A native of Sulligent, Alabama, about four miles from the Mississippi state line. The son of Randy and Gloria Johnson attended Sulligent High School and starred in football, basketball and track for the Blue Devils.[1] He graduated ranked fifth in a senior class of only 54 students.[2]

College career[edit]

Johnson had no Division I-A college scholarship offers—the largest schools to offer him scholarships were The Citadel and North Alabama.[3][4] He made an unofficial visit to Alabama, and chose to attend Alabama as a walk-on running back. He redshirted in his first year of eligibility, and as a freshman appeared in all 12 games on special teams.

In spring practice of his sophomore season, he was told by coaches that he'd never be a starting running back there, but they wanted him to switch to defense and play safety. That season (2006), he played in 11 games (missing two due to an ankle injury), starting four at free safety, and earned a full scholarship. He totaled 33 tackles and two forced fumbles.[5] In his junior year in 2007, the now-team captain started all 13 games and led the Tide with 81 tackles and six interceptions. He earned Alabama Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, was a first-team coaches' All-SEC selection, and earned shared UA's 2008 Mal Moore Leadership Award (with center Antoine Caldwell) for his performance during spring practice.

In the 2008 game versus LSU, Johnson had three interceptions (tying an Alabama single-game record), including one that he returned for a touchdown, and one in overtime that helped Alabama win the game and secure the SEC West Division crown. For the season, Johnson was second on the team with 89 tackles and had five interceptions. He was named unanimous first-team All-SEC and earned first-team All-American honors.[6]

He graduated with a degree in criminal justice.[7]

Professional career[edit]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

Johnson was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round (95th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2009, he played in 10 games, including his first career start in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers. In 2010, he played all 16 games with one start with season totals of 43 tackles and his first career interception. In 2011, he played in 15 games, starting eight of them and totaling 50 tackles.

He became a restricted free agent following the 2011 season, but was re-signed on April 16, 2012.[8] He played in 15 games, starting three, with 20 tackles and two interceptions, one of which was his first touchdown after intercepting Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.[9]

On March 12, 2013, Johnson signed a three-year contract to stay with the Cardinals.[10] Before the start of the 2013 season, he switched to jersey number 26 from his original number 49.[11] During a game against the New Orleans Saints on September 22, 2013 he lost his left middle fingertip.[12][13] He had his first multi-interception game against the Atlanta Falcons, picking off two Matt Ryan passes. In 2013, he started seven of his 13 games and totaled career highs in tackles with 58 and interceptions with three.[14]

A key special teams performer, through his first five season he totaled 41 special teams tackles. In the 2012 season, he racked up 64 yards on two fake punts, picking up first downs after runs of 40 and 24 yards.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Johnson holds an annual football camp in Sulligent, the Walk-On to Champions Youth Football Skills Camp, featuring both NFL players and Alabama players. The camp is part of his Walk-On to Champions Foundation, established "to provide courage, strength and support for youth to chase their dreams."[16]


External links[edit]