In high-school, Johnson played at the prestigious Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, one of Toronto's oldest and largest high-schools, located in western Toronto. Playing tailback, Johnson led the Etobicoke Rams in offensive, and special teams yards throughought all six of his football seasons. In his final year at E.C.I. Johnson won the athlete of the year award and to this day holds the Ram's record for most total touchdowns scored throughout high-school.
After high school, Johnson starred at York University in Toronto from 1996 to 1999. He was named the CIAU’s outstanding rookie in 1996 and an Ontario University Athletics First-Team All-Star in 1996, 1997, and 1999. He was a CIAU Second-Team All-Canadian in 1997 and 1999. In his final year at York, Johnson had 173 carries for 977 yards with five rushingtouchdowns, 11 receptions for 133 yards and one touchdown, and 196 yards on 11 kickoff returns. Over his four-year York Lions (York Yeomen at the time) career, Johnson had a total of 553 carries for 3,365 yards with 18 touchdowns rushing, 37 pass receptions for 436 yards with two touchdowns, and 28 kickoff returns for 776 yards and one touchdown.