Quarterback Matt Johnson turns focus to Canadian Football League
The post-Bowling Green career for record-setting quarterback Matt Johnson earned another uptick recently.
Following an April 2 pro workout in Pittsburgh, Johnson is now aiming toward his first season in the Canadian Football League.
The former all-state pick at Bishop McDevitt, who signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week, just completed a three-day mini camp at Tim Hortons Field.
“It’s something I’ve been waiting for a year now so it’s definitely something I want to take full advantage of,” said Johnson on Thursday.
“I’m very thankful and grateful that Hamilton brought me in and gave me the chance.”
Johnson, of course, hasn’t strayed too far from the football field since his assault on the Bowling Green record books.
During his final season in the Mid-American Conference, Johnson threw for 4,946 yards and 46 touchdowns, leading the Falcons to a conference title and spot opposite Georgia Southern in the GoDaddy Bowl.
.@Ticats potential QB Matt Johnson Day 2 of Mini-Camp @TimHortonsField #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/s2bdEZ28xi
— Gary Yokoyama (@Yokoatthespec) April 26, 2017
Wearing the label of an undersized (5-foot-11) quarterback from a mid-major program, The MAC Offensive Player of the Year went undrafted in 2016 but spent two weeks with the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent.
He spent the fall as Bishop McDevitt’s QB coach and even threw to ’17 NFL Draft prospects O.J. Howard, Gehrig Dieter and ArDarius Stewart at Alabama’s Pro Day last month.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Howard 19th overall Thursday.
Johnson will now take a crash course in CFL guidelines in preparation for Hamilton’s full training camp in May. Hamilton’s CFL season begins June 25 at Toronto.
“CFL is completely different from NFL and it’s going to take some getting used to,” Johnson said.
“But, even after three days, some things are already clicking. I’m looking forward to fully understanding the game. With camp starting in less than a month or so, I’ll be back home to continue training and throwing and getting myself prepared for the CFL.”
A handful of positive reports on Johnson’s steps during mini-camp surfaced this week. He’ll compete with three other international QBs on the TiCats roster.
Former University of Cincinnati QB Zach Collaros has started the last three seasons for Hamilton.
In addition, Ole Miss product Jeremiah Masoli and Everett Golson, who led Notre Dame to the 2013 BCS Championship game, will be in camp.