Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ex-KU LB Johnson gets NFL combine invite

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson catches up with Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett after a long run in the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson catches up with Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett after a long run in the second quarter on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.


The Kansas Jayhawks are back in the NFL combine.

After a one-year hiatus, the Kansas University football program once again will be represented at this year’s combine in Indianapolis, as linebacker Steven Johnson recently received an invitation to attend the world’s most publicized job interview for college football players eyeing the jump to the NFL.

The former walk-on, who eventually earned a scholarship and finished his career by leading Kansas in tackles during both his junior and senior seasons, likely solidified his invitation with a strong showing in this year’s East-West Shrine Game in January. During the game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Johnson recorded five tackles for the victorious West squad.

As a senior at KU, the Media, Pa., native led the Big 12 Conference in tackles (93) and finished the season ranked 16th in the nation with 124. Johnson, who earned both second team and third team all-league honors following KU’s 2-10 season, also finished in the top 25 nationally in solo tackles with 66.

The last time a Jayhawk participated in the NFL combine was in February of 2010, when former KU stars Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier and Darrell Stuckey all ran through the four-day event that measures everything from size and speed to intelligence and intangibles. All three were drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, and Johnson, who has spent the past few weeks training in Arizona, hopes to join them.

This year’s combine, which will feature more than 300 NFL hopefuls, will run from Feb. 22-28. Johnson will attend from Feb. 24-27, with his skills testing scheduled for the final day.

The 2012 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 26-28.


s6u6r6f 6 years, 4 months ago

Good on ya, Steven Johnson. Good on ya.

Rock chalk.

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years, 4 months ago

Kill it SJ.

Any updates on recruits? So quiet lately. I guess we won't hear much until Spring...

Eric Williams 6 years, 4 months ago

I believe Tevin Shaw is going to make an official visit to KU sometime soon. He's the kid that got jobbed by Iowa at the 23rd hour.

texashawk10 6 years, 4 months ago

Shaw will be in town Saturday for the Oklahoma St. game. I think KU's chances are pretty good because Rob Ianello offered him a scholarship to Akron that was rescinded after Ianello was fired so Shaw and Ianello already have a relationship and that will do nothing but help KU's chances. This is a kid that can come in and fill the void left by Darrian Miller from day 1. This kid is a great wrestler so you know he has great feet and great hands along with balance and all the other skills that are involved in wrestling.

Matt Tait 6 years, 4 months ago

Yep. He'll be here Saturday a long with Nas Moore, who already has signed but never made an official visit, and a whole host of juniors from the Class of 2013.

Saturday is one of KU's "junior days"

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years, 4 months ago

Any big names in that Junior class group visiting that we know of yet Matt?

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years, 4 months ago

I saw an article out of a Jersey paper that he had already committed...last week I believe

6 years, 4 months ago

Regardless of our record or how bad our team was the past couple years, he brought it every single play he was in the game. Best of luck to Mr. Johnson.

Ben Kane 6 years, 4 months ago

are you really already an ex-jayhawk if you're still in school? when you graduate, are you ever an ex-jayhawk?

what's the word on schedules being released and wvu's status?

FSUJHAWK 6 years, 4 months ago

Love this guy both on and off the field. He will make it happen! RCJHGKU!!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 4 months ago

SJ loved Gill which makes him the enemy!

You guys are giving credit to a guy that racked up numbers because the defense he was leading was so weak and couldn't stop anyone to get off the field. This article should mention most of his tackles were against the other teams second and third strings. Heck, I even think Boone P. took a couple of snaps in Stillwater.

David Lara 6 years, 4 months ago

You're a moron. He still had 10 other guys that were on the field for those same snaps and he got more tackles than all of them. With the D as bad as it was, wouldn't you assume the secondary would have more tackles? This guy did a great job and his solo numbers confirm that he shed blocks and got where he needed to be to make the play. He is well deserving.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Disagree ahperse... A player is supposed to be loyal to his coach.

We were a terrible team for many reasons but that doesn't mean every player was terrible. McDougald, Zlatnik, SJ, Sims, and Brown all could have played and contributed on that Orange Bowl team. Other guys as well.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Any word on place kicker? Mueller didn't seem to cut it. Would love another Scott Webb.

number1jayhawker 6 years, 4 months ago

I think Doherty has a "leg up" on the field goal duties. The only problem is, he's our best punter also.

texashawk10 6 years, 4 months ago

Why is that a problem, get a QB to be the holder on FG's and that opens up the trick play possibilities on field goal attempts.

april28 6 years, 4 months ago

Bitter father here. My son was a 4-star rated kicker. Came to KU for a recruiting trip but was not offered, well...anything. I could spend a Jaybate number of words describing the complete lack of understanding of the kicking game by most football coaches.

If you want great kickers, offer them schollies. Or.....wince as you miss on important 3-point tries time after time.

I didn't say anything to my son but, when I met Gill, I came away thinking that he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He spent 10 minutes trying to get my son to explain why hockey players can only skate 45-second shifts (my son plays hockey). Gill spent time in Montreal but apparently doesn't understand human physiology.

Anyway.....I hope that Weiss is smart enough to understand this: offer the best punter and the best kicker a schollie every other year. You'll win games because of this decision while your competitive coaches make jokes about kickers.

Jayhawker111 6 years, 4 months ago

Great story -

Walk-on earns scholarship and then leads the team in tackles for 2 years.

That is why you never stop dreaming as a player.

All you need is an opportunity.

This player took advantage of his opportunity.


kellerman411 6 years, 4 months ago

I really hope Steven can make a team and hang around for a few years. He's a good kid and he deserves it.

JayhawkinNE 6 years, 4 months ago

Great read on Stowers at I didn't realize he had such a tough life.

KGphoto 6 years, 4 months ago

That is a great read.

Stick with it Keon. Two years of 100% and you might just get that dream.

KGphoto 6 years, 4 months ago

I'd put him right there with Mort and Rivera. Hoping determination at the combine boosts his stock enough for somebody to take a chance. He's probably gonna have to run a personal best 40 and do well on the test. His work ethic will certainly help.

Like always, I'd love to see the Chiefs take a shot on him. At least pick him up as a free agent if he doesn't get drafted. I don't think we've had a KU Chief since Terry back in the nineties.

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