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Ron Johnson
Date of birth: October 17, 1947 (1947-10-17) (age 62)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
Position(s): Halfback
College: Michigan
NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
 As player:
Cleveland Browns
New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 2
Honors: All-America (1968)
Records: NCAA single game rushing yards (1968-1971)
Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Ronald Johnson (born October 17, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional American football halfback. He played football at the University of Michigan and then with the Cleveland Browns the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League.

Johnson finished sixth in the 1968 Heisman Trophy voting. He was Michigan’s top student-athlete (1966-1968)where he received the Big 10 Medal (which is awarded to the most outstanding scholar-athlete in the school) and earned All-American honors his senior year at Michigan as a halfback. He also set the school record by rushing for 347 yards against Wisconsin in 1968, a record that still stands. In fact, Johnson still owns two of the top five single-game rushing performances in school history as follows:

Rank Name Attempts Net Yds Yds/Att Year Opponent
1 Ron Johnson 31 347 11.2 1968 Wisconsin
2 Tim Biakabutuka 37 313 8.5 1995 Ohio State
3 Jon Vaughn 32 288 9.0 1990 UCLA
4 Ron Johnson 26 270 10.4 1967 Navy
5 Butch Woolfolk 39 253 6.5 1981 Michigan State


After graduating from Michigan with a Business degree, Johnson played for seven years (1969-1975) in the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns and as an MVP running back for the New York Giants. Ron rushed for 1,000 yards in 1970 and 1972, the first two 1,000-yard seasons in Giants history. Ironically those were the only 2 winning seasons the Giants had between 1964 and 1980.

In 2006, Johnson was named the chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, becoming the organization’s fifth chairman in 59 years. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

Johnson is a graduate of Michigan's Ross School of Business (1969). His brother, Alex Johnson, was a professional baseball player.

Johnson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for African Americans.[1]

While with the Giants, Johnson lived in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". Regents of the University of Michigan. 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-06.  
  2. ^ Harvin, Al. "An Offseason Game; New Jersey Sports", The New York Times, January 12, 1973. Accessed November 16, 2008. "Some of the other Jersey residents on the team, according to Davis, are Bob Tucker, the New York Giants' tight end from Lincroft; Phil Villapiano, Oakland Raider linebacker from Ocean Township, and Ron Johnson, Giant running back, now a resident of Fort Lee."

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