NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin All-American Gus Johnson has signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent. Johnson now looks to become the 72nd Lumberjack to suit up for a National Footbal League team.
“My lifelong dream has come true,” Johnson said. “I’m just happy I get my chance to go out to Oakland and prove myself. This is all I’ve dreamed about since I started playing football as a little kid. It’s a little surreal right now, but I know I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
“I’m extremely happy for Gus and his family,” said head coach Clint Conque. “He is one of our all-time greats and has worked very hard for this opportunity. We are very proud of him and know he will make the most of this opportunity and will represent SFA well in the NFL.”
Johnson reports to Oakland for camp on Thursday, May 7th, ironically following in the footsteps of his head coach. Conque signed with the Raiders in 1983 after his All-America career at Nicholls before a knee injury cut his professional career short.
The signing for Johnson a fitting conclusion to the greatest rushing season and career in program history. Johnson ends his SFA career in sole possession of eight Lumberjack records, tied for the most in program history with Jeremy Moses, who fittingly served as Johnson’s position coach in 2014.
He was named a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Beyond Sports Network and The Sports Network, earning second team honors by the Associated Press.
In 2014, Johnson set the Lumberjack and Southland Conference single-season rushing record with 1,683 yards while racking up 23 rushing touchdowns, a new SFA program record. He tied his single-game program record with four rushing touchdowns against Incarnate Word, marking the third time in his career he notched a four-touchdown game, and set the Lumberjack single-season record for points in a season with 138.
His efforts on the season ranked him among the nation’s top-10 in five different statistical categories as he was named a Walter Payton Award finalist, the second in SFA program history (finishing ninth in the voting).Following the end of the regular season Johnson was first nationally in touchdowns, third in both yards per carry (6.78) and scoring (11.0), fourth in rushing yards and fifth in rushing yards per game (133.4).
Johnson’s 2014 season helped him etch his name in SFA program history as the Lumberjacks’ all-time rushing king, setting the program records for career rushing yards (3,907), rushing touchdowns (51) and total touchdowns (52). He ends his time in Nacogdoches ranked fifth all-time in SLC history in rushing yards, sitting third all-time in rushing touchdowns and fourth all-time in career touchdowns.
The Gilmer native closed his SFA career with 21 100-yard rushing games and six 200-yard performances, both of which are tops all-time in program history.
Johnson looks to add to a long line of Lumberjack success in the NFL as 71 former SFA players have suited up at the sport’s highest level, including four-time Pro Bowler Jeremiah Trotter, 1982 NFL MVP Mark Moseley and current Houston Texan Josh Aubrey.