Damaris Johnson
No. 13     Philadelphia Eagles
Wide receiver / Punt returner
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-11-22) November 22, 1989 (age 30)
Place of birth: Norco, Louisiana
High School: Destrehan (LA)
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
College: Tulsa
Undrafted in 2012
Debuted in 2012 for the Philadelphia Eagles
Career history
* Philadelphia Eagles ( 2012–present)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-Conference USA honors (2008, as a kick returner)
  • Honorable mention All-Conference USA honors (2008, as a wide receiver)
  • The Sporting News first-team freshman All-America honors (2008)
  • Rivals.com first-team freshman All-America honors (2008, as an athlete)
  • Phil Steele's first-team freshman All-America honors (2008)
  • Tulsa record for kickoff return yards in a season (1,319)
  • Tulsa record for kickoff return yards in a game (211)
Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Receptions     19
Receiving yards     256
Receiving TDs     0

Damaris Johnson (born November 22, 1989) is an American football wide receiver and punt returner for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, he was signed by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Johnson was born in Norco, Louisiana where he was raised by his single mother Lori Johnson. According to Johnson, his first cousin Mark Young acted as a surrogate father and taught him how to play football.[1] He attended Destrehan High School in Destrehan, Louisiana where he became a three-year letter winner in football. He eventually became the all-time leading receiver at Destrehan High School with a career record of 154 receptions, 2,620 yards, and 30 touchdowns. In his senior year alone, he made 81 receptions for 1,228 yards, and 12 touchdowns. That year, Destrehan High School achieved a 14–0 record and won the state championship. Johnson was named the Louisiana Championship game Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the New Orleans Metro MVP, and was twice named an all-state and all-New Orleans Metro player.[2]

Johnson was highly ranked as a college prospect by several websites, but was not shown much interest by the major football schools due in part to his small stature.[3] His high school coach Stephen Robicheaux said, "If he were two inches taller, he could have gone anywhere in the country."[1] Rivals.com assigned him a four-star rating and named him the 11th-ranked college prospect in Louisiana and the 28th-ranked athlete in the nation. Scout.com assessed him as the 21st-ranked college prospect in the state.[2] Johnson selected Tulsa over Texas Christian, Memphis, and Louisiana Tech.[1]

College career[edit | edit source]

Against UTEP, Johnson set a Tulsa school record for single-game kickoff return yards with 211 yards on six returns. In the first quarter, Johnson returned a kick 98 yards for a touchdown to equalize the game at 28 and shift the momentum in favor of Tulsa. By the game's end, Johnson had accumulated 296 all-purpose yards and was named a Conference USA Player of the Week.[4] Against New Mexico, Johnson caught five passes for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Tulsa head coach Todd Graham said that true freshman "Damaris Johnson is as explosive of a freshman or any player I've seen, freshman or senior."[1] He led his team and the conference in all-purpose yardage with 2,201 yards. Johnson set a Tulsa school record for single-season kickoff return yards with 1,319.[5]

In 2008, Johnson was named to the All-Conference USA second-team as a kick returner and All-Conference USA honorable mention as a wide receiver.[6] The Sporting News named him a first-team freshman All-American. Rivals.com named him a first-team freshman All-American as an all-purpose player and Phil Steele's College Football magazine named him a second-team freshman All-American kick returner.[5] On December 24, 2010, in the Hawaii Bowl game, Johnson broke the NCAA record for all purpose yardage with 326 in a 62-35 win for Tulsa. He is also the NCAA leader in kick return yards for a career and total yards gained for a career.

College statistics[edit | edit source]

 Tulsa Receiving Rushing Punt Returns Kick Returns
Season GP Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Ret Yds Avg TD Ret Yds Avg TD
2008 14 53 743 14.0 10 41 327 8.0 1 6 23 3.8 0 54 1382 25.6 1
2009 12 78 1131 14.5 3 26 175 6.7 0 17 239 14.1 1 46 1131 24.6 0
2010 13 57 872 15.3 4 55 560 10.2 7 23 292 12.7 1 34 904 26.6 1
Totals 39 188 2746 14.6 17 122 1062 8.7 8 46 554 12.0 2 134 3417 25.5 2

Suspension[edit | edit source]

Johnson was suspended indefinitely on August 25, 2011, following questions about his role in his girlfriend's arrest for felony embezzlement. Johnson's girlfriend, Chamon Jones, was accused of ringing up $2610 worth of merchandise over the course of two purchases at the Tulsa Macy's she worked at, but only charging Johnson just over $13 in total.[7] Johnson was initially questioned and released, but on August 31 Johnson was also charged with felony embezzlement by the Tulsa County District Attorney's office.[8] In October 2011, Johnson pleaded guilty to the charge and received a deferred sentence.[9]

Professional career[edit | edit source]

Johnson was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent on April 29, 2012. It was announced on August 31, 2012 that Johnson made the roster. He is expected to be the fifth receiver. On Friday, September 21, it was announced that Johnson will start along with DeSean Jackson against the Cardinals, replacing injured Jeremy Maclin. On Sunday December 2nd, 2012, during Sunday night football, he returned a 98-yard punt for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Up close: Damaris Johnson, Tulsa World, 23 September 2008, retrieved 11 January 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Official Athletic Site of the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, retrieved 11 January 2009.
  3. Damaris Johnson: Could be recruiting steal, HS Game Time, 28 December 2007, retrieved 11 January 2009.
  4. Tulsa's Duo of Brennan Marion and Damaris Johnson Earn C-USA Player of the Week Honors, 20 October 2008, retrieved 11 January 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tulsa's Damaris Johnson Adds Two More Freshman All-America Honors, Official Athletic Site of the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 17 December 2008, retrieved 11 January 2009.
  6. Six Tulsa Players Earn All-Conference USA Honors, Three Newcomers Named to All-Freshman Team, Official Athletic Site of the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 9 December 2008, retrieved 11 January 2009.
  7. TU's Damaris Johnson suspended after girlfriend's arrest on embezzlement complaint, Tulsa World, 26 August 2011, retrieved 1 September 2011.
  8. TU's Johnson Charged with embezzlement, Tulsa World, 1 September 2011, retrieved 1 September 2011.
  9. "Deferred sentence for Damaris Johnson", Associated Press at ESPN.com, October 13, 2012.

External links[edit | edit source]

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