60 Brent Johnson

Brent Johnson Ohio State
Brent Johnson
Kingston, Ontario
High School
Holy Cross
Current Team
Ohio State
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Post-OSU Update: After Ohio State, Brent Johnson was drafted in the third round of the 2001 CFL Draft by the BC Lions. Johnson was a star in the CFL, twice leading the league in sacks and winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2006. He was elected to the CFL Hall of Fame in 2018. (updated: Apr. 2022)

Major: Biology (1998-00), Arts & Science (1997), Unknown (1996)

Weight: 265 (1998-00), 255 (1997), 250 (1996)

2000 Media Guide: Eye-popping skills in the trenches of the defensive line speak volumes about Brent Johnson – quickly becoming a household name in Columbus. Now in his third year as a starter, Johnson burst onto the OSU scene as a sophomore and his career has been marked by consistency and steady improvement ever since. As his high school defensive coach Rob Ball puts it, “Brent Johnson runs like a deer and hits like a truck.” His 6-3, 265-pound frame is more than wide enough to stuff the run and his speed and athleticism allow him to rush the quarterback, contain the option and even drop back into pass coverage. “The things about Brent is that his motor runs on every play. He will always give you an absolutely great effort,” Jim Heacock, defensive line coach, said. Coaches have called Johnson a “deceiving player,” saying he is much stronger and quicker than he first appears. As a senior with 23 starts to his credit – the most of any Ohio State defensive player – Johnson, listed as the starter at defensive end on the preseason depth chart, will be expected to be a leader in the defensive huddle.

1999: Started 11 games and played extensively in all 12 … was the hero of the Purdue game on Oct. 9, flying over a pile of defenders and blocking a potential game-tying field goal with 53 seconds remaining … made a season-high six tackles against Wisconsin, including one sack … recorded four or more tackles in four of Ohio State’s first five games … played 275 minutes (including 32 against Michigan State), the seventh most on the team and the most of any Ohio State defensive lineman.

1999 Media Guide: Brent Johnson emerged last year like no other Buckeye into a legitimate big time player and a budding star of the future. After playing a total of 15 minutes in 1997, everything seemed to fall into place for Johnson in 1998. He nailed down a starting position after a consistent and productive spring drills and then he became the team’s best defensive lineman over the course of OSU’s 11-1 campaign. Everything from minutes to starts to big plays multiplied for Johnson, and so did his requests for interviews. Called a “deceiving player” by ends coach Shawn Simms because “he is a lot stronger and quicker than you might think.” Johnson is ready to do more in 1999.

1998 Media Guide: Has worked himself into becoming an influence player along the defensive line … he will battle for a starting spot at the “Leo” end position … coming off a terrific spring practice in which he played the run and the pass extremely well, made plays and was “the most improved and the most consistent defensive end,” according to position coach Shawn Simms … has improved his strength and combines it with quickness and excellent lateral movement.

1997: Saw action in five games and was credited with one tackle … played a total of 15 minutes with a high of four minutes in the season opener against Wyoming … also played on special teams.

1997 Media Guide: Can play either defensive end or tackle and could be used in a reserve role at both positions this year … has good size, speed and athletic ability … a good prospect, whose biggest shortcoming at present is a lack of experience … enrolled in Spring Quarter of 1996 and took part in spring drills … was making a move in the fall, but suffered a knee injury in September and missed the rest of the year after undergoing surgery.

1996: Redshirted as a true freshman.

High School: Was enrolled spring quarter and played in the spring game, registering two solo tackles, caused a fumble and broke up one pass … Regarded, along with Clinton Wayne, the other Canadian signee, as one of the top players in Canada … Prepped at Holy Cross High School … Honorable Mention all-Midwest region selection by Bluechip Illustrated … High school coach was Pat Coyne.

Personal: Has four sisters – three older and one younger … father is Brenton Johnson … his mother is deceased.


SeasonTeamGGSTklSoloAsstTFLTFL YdsSacksSack YdsFFFRIntInt YdsPBUBlkDef TD
1997Ohio State5011000000000000
1998Ohio State121240251584373500111200
1999Ohio State12113416186263180000110
2000Ohio State12113527815779612000100