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Alondra Johnson - Linebacker - 1989-2004 - West Texas A&M


excerpted - West Texas A&M Hall of Fame inductee

Alondra Johnson played for the West Texas A&M Buffs in 1986 and 1987 under Head Coach Bill Kelly. The Buffs won the LSC championship in 1986 with six straight conference victories following a 1-4 non-conference start. In 1987 the Buffs finished 5-6, but Johnson led the team with 143 tackles, of which 85 were unassisted and nine were tackles for loss. He also recovered two fumbles and broke up three passes. For his efforts the 5-11, 205-pounder from Gardena, Calif., was selected to the first team of the All-LSC defense and was twice LSC Defensive Player of the Week. Johnson was also voted the Most Outstanding Defensive Player by WTAMU.

In 1986 Johnson had 36 tackles (16 unassisted), one fumble recovery, one pass breakup, and one sack in his first year for the Buffs following his transfer from El Camino (Calif.) Junior College. The 1986 team, although they were not selected to participate in the then-only eight-team Division II playoffs, finished third in the Football News final poll and second in the Dunkel Rating poll.

Johnson played in 1989 and 1990 for the British Columbia Lions after signing as a free agent in July 1989. After being granted free agency in February 1991, he signed with the Calgary Stampeders the same month and spent 13 years with that team, winning three Grey Cup championship rings (1992, 1998, and 2001) and playing in three other Grey Cup finals. His final year was 2004 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

From his linebacker spot he finished with 1,095 tackles (83 special team tackles) for a grand total of 1,178 in 248 games. Johnson also had 45 quarterback sacks for 333 yards, 43 tackles for a total loss of 113 yards, 16 fumble recoveries with three for touchdowns, eight forced fumbles, 17 interceptions and one for a TD, and 10 pass knockdowns.

In 19 post-season clashes he had 83 tackles and seven special team tackles for a total of 90, two QB sacks for 22 yards, seven tackles for a loss of eight yards, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one pass knockdown.

In six Grey Cup championship games Johnson had 27 total tackles, a Grey Cup record, with one quarterback sack for 13 yards in the 2001 game and two tackles for loss in the 1991 final. In the 1998 Grey Cup victory, 26-24 over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he set the CFL record for the most defensive tackles in a Grey Cup game. That 1998 season total of 87 tackles spurred him to the Norm Freidgate Trophy as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the West Division, as well as West Division and CFL All-Star.

He was a CFL All-Star also in 1995 and 2000, a West Division All-Star also in 1991, 1992, 1997, and 2000, and a North All-Star in 1995. Johnson was also the first CFL player to score on a two-point conversion in 1989.

One Canadian sportswriter referred to Johnson as being the "heart and soul of Calgary's defense." In 2001 and 2002 he received the Stampeder President's Ring Award, voted by his teammates for his inspiration on and off the field.

Johnson is married, currently lives in Calgary, and is linebacker coach with the Calgary Colts, a developmental junior team.