Brian Johnson replaced Joey Slye as Virginia Tech’s kicker in 2018. After Slye graduated, Johnson went on to kick three seasons for the Hokies. Johnson went undrafted in the 2021 NFL draft but signed a free-agent contract with the Chicago Bears.
Johnson spent training camp with the Bears and opened the season on the practice squad until the New Orleans Saints needed a kicker and signed him to their active roster. Johnson was good with the Saints, nailing all eight of his field-goal attempts, but missed three point-after attempts, and the Saints released him.
The Bears quickly signed Johnson back to their practice squad.
One week later, the Washington Football Team signed Johnson off Chicago’s practice squad, where he would replace Slye. Slye injured his hamstring in the WFT’s Week 12 win over the Seahawks. Slye had been outstanding for Washington before his injury.
So, what does Johnson do in his debut?
He makes both of his PATs, but, most importantly, he was on the field with a chance to win the game for his hometown team. Johnson played high school football at Gonzaga in Washington, D.C.
Johnson was ready for the moment, crushing a 48-yard field goal to give Washington a 17-15 lead with under 40 seconds remaining. Washington’s defense held on for the win and Johnson was a local hero in his first game.
On Monday, Johnson joined the “Grant and Danny” show 106.7 The Fan out of Washington and discussed his brief NFL career, including that game-winning kick.
This game featured plenty of former Hokies, including Logan Thomas, Kendall Fuller, Tim Settle, Johnson, Divine Deablo and Brandon Facyson. You love seeing that many Hokies in a single NFL game.
Congratulations to Brian Johnson, and it looks like Washington has found its kicker of the future in either Slye or Johnson.