Northern Iowa Legend Gets Another Shot in the NFL
After starting the 2022 NFL season without a team for the first time in his career, former UNI running back David Johnson has been signed to the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
This will be his second stint with the team this season, as he spent some time in New Orleans this summer during minicamp on an extended tryout basis. He left after the summer without a contract.
The former Panther had spent the previous two seasons with the Houston Texans, racking up 919 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as well as 539 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Though Johnson's production has taken a dip in recent seasons, the Clinton, Iowa native made a massive splash when he played his first snaps in the NFL.
Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2015, he rushed for 581 yards and eight touchdowns and finished with 357 yards receiving with four touchdowns. All he did was follow it up with 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground with 879 yards receiving and four touchdowns and a Pro Bowl appearance in his second season.
After a wrist injury sidelined him following the 2017 season-opener, Johnson hasn't put up the same numbers but has remained a solid NFL back. Now, he'll get another shot at a spot in the league and will be teammates with Saints 2022 first-round pick and another former UNI Panther, Trevor Penning.
While in Cedar Falls, Johnson quickly made FBS programs regret overlooking him during the recruiting process. During his freshmen campaign, he ran the ball for 822 yards and nine touchdowns along with 422 receiving yards and three scores.
All he did the next two seasons was eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing and ten touchdown marks, culminating in rushing for 1,553 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior in 2014. He currently has the Northern Iowa school record in career rushing yards, career rushing touchdowns, and career all-purpose yards.