Former Reddies Football Player Johnson Recognized for Community Work

Courtesy Henderson State University Athletics Department

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Rams Community Player of the Week is wide receiver Nick Johnson.

Coming out of Henderson State University, an NCAA Division II school, Johnson was considered a longshot when he arrived at Rams training camp this summer. But the receiver that hauled in 130 passes for 1,631 yards and 14 touchdowns during his Henderson State career opened eyes at the ContinuityX Training Center and carved out a niche for himself with the team on the practice squad.

Even as he was attempting to leave his mark on the Rams, Johnson worked to make an impact on his new community. Almost immediately after joining the team, Johnson participated in the Rams’ fourth annual rookie week as a way to become familiar with the St. Louis and surrounding communities. He joined teammates, coaches and Rams staff members in building a Rams-themed playground in Fairmont City, Ill., and followed it up with a trip to Joplin to help rebuild houses. Johnson also participated in a bowling event to benefit Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK).

During the season, Johnson returned to Fairmont City with select teammates to take part in the Rams’ Hispanic Heritage program, an NFL-wide effort to honor Hispanic culture. At the event, Johnson learned some Salsa moves from a local dance troupe and followed it up by assisting with the various Play 60 fitness stations. He took the lead on the soccer station, and competed with the kids in a goal-scoring contest.

He continued his efforts to promote active and healthy youth by participating in a Rams ReciPEs program at Brown Elementary School. Rams ReciPEs is a program the team does in conjunction with their PLAY 60 efforts. It is aimed at encouraging kids to make healthy choices and be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Johnson showed kids how to make some nutritious snacks such as fruit kebabs, parfaits and trail mix. Once they were refueled, the kids took part in relay races to get active and moving.

Johnson was also active in the community throughout the holiday season. Prior to Thanksgiving, the Rams distributed turkeys and other favorite Thanksgiving food items to nearly 2,000 needy families in the area. Johnson joined some of his fellow wide receivers in passing out the turkeys and food items at the Urban League location in St. Clair so that members of the community could enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. 

Shortly thereafter, Johnson contributed to Rocky McIntosh’s Holiday Fun Event. The group surprised second- and third-grade students at Herzog Elementary School and bused them to a local YMCA for some activities and a healthy lunch. Following lunch, the next stop was Wal-Mart where each kid received a $100 gift card to be used on school supplies; winter items, such as coats and gloves and a new toy. Johnson helped brighten the day more for the students by leading a group of kids through the store to help them do their shopping. 

“Nick has been a vital part of our community outreach team since he first arrived in St. Louis,” said Rams vice president, corporate communications and civic affairs, Molly Higgins. “Nick is always the first to volunteer his time and energy to the community. He has had a tremendous impact on youth and community members in need through his consistent effort and selfless approach.” 

About the Rams Community Player of the Week

Each week during the 2012 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off of the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.


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