Jan Johnson Signs With Houston Texans As Undrafted Free Agent

Welcome to the National Football League, Jan Johnson.

While he wasn’t taken during this weekend’s draft, Johnson signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent Saturday night. He follows fellow Nittany Lion John Reid to Houston, who was taken by former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien in the fourth round.

A former Penn State football walk-on run-on, Johnson was a model of grit during his time as a Nittany Lion. He arrived in Happy Valley as a wrestler, but soon switched paths and worked his way up to becoming a key linebacker and co-captain of the 2019 football team.

Johnson began to add value on the defense as sophomore in 2017, and started a total of 26 games during the 2018 and 2019 season. The Mohnton, Pennsylvania native leaves Penn State with 150 total tackles — seven for a loss — 1.5 sacks, and two interceptions.

One of Johnston’s two career interceptions came against Maryland in 2019. It was lauded as an incredibly athletic play and helped spark a 59-0 victory for Penn State over the Terps.

While he wasn’t a very highly-ranked linebacker in this year’s draft pool, more big-time plays like that could very well be in Johnson’s future at the professional level. He joins a Texans linebacker unit that includes Whitney Mercilus and Benardrick McKinney, among others.

Nittany Lions Steven Gonzalez, Nick Bowers, and Garrett Taylor have all managed to sign contracts as undrafted free agents as well.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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