Stafon Johnson
Johnson after a 2008 fall practice
Free Agent
Running Back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-02-06) February 6, 1988 (age 32)
Place of birth: Compton, California
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: USC
Undrafted in 2010
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Rushing yards     --
Rushing average     --
Rushing TDs     --

Stafon Johnson (born February 6, 1988) is a professional American football running back who is currently an unrestricted free agent. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played college football at University of Southern California.

He was also a member of the Washington Redskins.

Early yearsEdit

Johnson played high school football at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California. He played running back and defensive back.[1] Going into his junior season, he was regarded as one of the top three running backs in his region.[2] His best season came as a senior in 2005 when he rushed for 2,197 yards on 247 carries with 22 touchdowns. He finished his high school career with a city record 5,777 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns.[3]

A highly regarded recruit, Johnson was the No. 18 overall prospect in the country and the No. 2 running back by He received offers from Florida, Miami, UCLA and paid serious attention to Georgia and Washington. He ultimately chose USC, noting that he liked the coaches and its proximity to his parents.[4]

College careerEdit

During his freshman season, Johnson played in three games, rushing for 17 yards on three carries.[5][6]


Johnson had a breakthrough in the 2007 season, finishing with 673 rushing yards and five touchdowns.[7] He ran for 122 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries against Washington before suffering a foot injury.[8] The injury, which was first diagnosed a game earlier as a left foot bruise, included a sprain that kept him out of practices and limited his playing time for the rest of the season.[9] He returned at the end of the season, rushing for 104 yards in the Rose Bowl.[10]

As a junior in 2008, Johnson led the Trojans in rushing yards with 705 yards on 138 carries and nine touchdowns. He had 305 yards on 42 punt returns.

Barbell accidentEdit

On September 28, 2009, Johnson suffered an injury when the 275 pounds (125 kg) barbell he was lifting fell on his throat while performing a bench press during a routine team workout. Bleeding from his mouth and nose, he was rushed to California Hospital Medical Center and had three emergency surgeries to repair damage to his crushed vocal cord, adam's apple and torn muscles.[11][12] Doctors partially credited his survival to well developed muscles around his neck, which helped him keep open a breathing passage, as well as his level of fitness.[12] He was moved to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and was released on October 15, 2009, though he was still unable to speak and had a breathing tube in his throat.[13] The injury ended his 2009 season, during which he had run for a team-high five touchdowns in the Trojans' first four games.[14] As a fourth-year senior, Johnson was eligible to enter the NFL or apply to the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility because of a medical hardship.[12]

Later in the 2009 season, the USC football team honored Johnson by wearing helmet stickers that read "STA FIGHT ON" while playing rival Notre Dame.[15]

On January 24, 2011, Johnson sued USC and the former assistant conditioning coach who was present for negligence related to the accident.

Professional careerEdit

After going undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, Johnson signed a contract immediately after the draft with the Tennessee Titans.

In his rookie season, Stafon Johnson was injured in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks on August 15, 2010. His ankle was severely dislocated by an opposing tackler accidentally landing on Johnson's planted right leg. He was estimated to be out for at least 8–12 weeks.[16][17] He cleared waivers and was placed on IR. He was released on September 2, 2011.

Johnson was signed to the Washington Redskins practice squad on December 28, 2011.


Johnson was raised by his mother, Kim Mallory. He had a close relationship with his grandfather, Larry "Big Dad" Mallory, a father figure who attended practices and games. Larry Mallory died from a heart attack at age 66. During games his sophomore season, Johnson wrote "Big Dad" on his eye blacks.[5]

Johnson enjoys music and bowling. He prays before every game.[18] He has one son, Stafon Johnson Jr.[19]


  1. Eric Sondheimer, Younger Players Win Over Veterans, Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2003, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  2. Eric Sondheimer, How They Rate, Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2004, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  3. Eric Sondheimer, Taft Seeded No. 1 for City Playoffs, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2005, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  4. Martin Henderson and Dan Arritt, Dorsey’s Johnson Is USC-Bound, Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2006, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bill Plaschke, USC’s Johnson makes a run with extra purpose, Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2007, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  6. Gary Klein, Johnson is moving up depth chart, Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2007, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  7. David Wharton and Gary Klein, Johnson goes the extra yards, Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2007, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  8. Gary Klein, USC rewind & fast forward, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2007, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  9. Gary Klein, Johnson’s injury is more serious, Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2007, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  10. USC tailbacks: A closer look, Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2008, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  11. Garry Paskwietz, Stafon Johnson surgery update, (An ESPN Affiliate), September 28, 2009, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Gary Klein, Stafon Johnson's fitness saved his life, doctor says, Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2009, Accessed September 30, 2009.
  13. Gary Klein, Stafon Johnson grins as he is discharged from hospital, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2009, Accessed October 15, 2009.
  14. Scott M. Reid, USC's Carroll: Johnson doing better, prognosis good, The Orange County Register, September 29, 2009, Accessed September 30, 2009.
  15. Gary Klein, USC football: Stafon Johnson expected to be released from hospital Wednesday,, October 13, 2009, Accessed October 14, 2009.
  16. "Fisher says rookie RB could be out 8-12 weeks". Yahoo. 2010-08-15. Retrieved 2010-08-17.[dead link]
  17. "Titans release Stafon Johnson". ESPN. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  18. Erik McKinney, 20 Questions with Stafon Johnson,, August 11, 2008, Accessed September 29, 2009.
  19. Michael Lev, USC's McKnight grows up off, on the field,, September 16, 2009, Accessed October 3, 2009.

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.