WBB RELEASE â€“ 2005/275
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE â€“ Dec. 22, 2005
WINNIPEG, MB â€“ The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are thrilled to announce the signing of Import Receiver and Return Specialist Albert Johnson III.
Johnson III (5-9, 180, Southern Methodist â€™98, DOB: Nov. 11, 1977) is making his second stint with the Blue and Gold after a stellar rookie campaign in 2000. He also spent four seasons in the NFL, most recently with the Houston Texans.
As one of the CFLâ€™s most exciting players in 2000, he led the league in several categories. Appearing in 17 games, he was the CFLâ€™s leader in kickoff return yards (1506), missed field goal return yards (277) and combined yards (3241). He also boasted the highest kickoff return average (24.7) and missed field goal return average (69.3).
As a receiver, he posted 778 yards despite only starting 12 games at the position. His combined yards total is the fourth-best in CFL history and the best ever amassed by a rookie. The many honours were enough to garner the CFLâ€™s Rookie of the Year Award and Special Teams Player of the Year Award. He was also named as a CFL All-Star.
Johnson III was quickly scooped up by the Miami Dolphins in time for the 2001 NFL season but had to succumb to a torn ACL injury during training camp and missed the entire campaign. He returned to the Dolphins in â€™02, playing in four games primarily as a return specialist, but was again sidelined due to a knee injury. He signed as a free agent with the New York Jets in 2003 and then with the Houston Texans later that year.
â€œThis is a very positive step for our organization today and we are ecstatic to have Albert Johnson III back with our team,â€? said Bomber GM Brendan Taman. â€œHe has great athleticism and was a game-breaker for us as both a receiver and returner. We cannot wait to have him back in the line-up.â€?
New Head Coach Doug Berry was just as delighted at the news. â€œHe truly is an offensive weapon. With this signing, we just made an already potent receiving corps even more spectacular. And his returning abilities will give opposing coverage teams headaches trying to contain him.â€?
With a tremendous ability to become a difference-maker, Johnson III has showed how he can take over a game and thrive in the wide-open Canadian game. He showcased this ability by absolutely crushing the CFLâ€™s single-game most combined yards record, amassing 474 total yards against the Edmonton Eskimos (July 21, 2000). His total was comprised of 153 receiving yards, 1 punt return yard, 198 kickoff return yards, and 122 missed field goal return yards.
Johnson IIIâ€™s speed, elusiveness, and game-breaking ability had made him a fan favourite in Winnipeg. Bomber fans quickly dubbed him as â€œFlight 87â€? because of his ability to â€˜take flightâ€™ any time he touches the ball.