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Pro football

West Side grad Jon’Vea Johnson signs as free agent with Dallas Cowboys

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West Side's Jon'Vea Johnson

West Side grad Jon'Vea Johnson has signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

Jon’Vea Johnson is once again following in his father's footsteps.

Johnson, a former standout at West Side, signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent Saturday. Johnson is coming off a strong senior season at Toledo in which he caught nine touchdowns and averaged 20.6 yards per reception.

Johnson's father, Jason, also was a wide receiver who attended West Side and went undrafted. He proceeded to play 22 games in three NFL seasons. 

Not hearing his name called during the three-day NFL Draft is just the latest obstacle for Jon’Vea Johnson to overcome.

He grew up in Gary public housing with his mother and their apartment was burglarized on multiple occasions, he said. After a breakout 2016 season in which he totaled 10 touchdown receptions and earned second-team all-Mid-American Conference honors, Jon’Vea Johnson regressed in several statistical categories in 2017 and didn't receive any conference accolades.

Jon’Vea Johnson opted to sign with the Cowboys. He traveled to Dallas prior to the draft to attend an event the Cowboys hosted for top prospects.

"It’s a great tradition and a great culture and the fans are amazing," Jon’Vea Johnson was quoted as saying in The (Toledo) Blade. "It’s the best franchise in the world so I just want to be a part of that.”


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