Sportswriters praise Xavier Johnson's versatility as Buffalo Bills hopeful

Sportswriters praise Xavier Johnson's versatility as Buffalo Bills hopeful
man holds Buckeye jersey with O on it

Xavier Johnson, a 2018 Summit graduate, signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent shortly after Saturday’s draft concluded.  

Johnson still has to prove himself to become one of the Bills, but several reporters covering the weekend draft noted his leadership and versatility puts a lot of points  in his favor. At Ohio State, he played wide receiver, running back and returned kicks on special teams. At The Summit, he played six different positions. 

“Johnson arrived at Ohio State as a walk-on in 2018 but worked his way up to becoming a versatile role player on offense, a vital special teams player and a team captain for the Buckeyes,” said Eleven Warriors.   

Nathan Baird of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote: “That versatility, especially his willingness and ability to contribute in myriad ways on special teams, likely made him an intriguing free agent option for many teams.” 

Bills Central says his versatility gives him multiple options on the team, on a practice squad or on special teams as he had 29 kickoff returns for 601 yards during his college career. Johnson played in 56 games during his six seasons with the Buckeyes, 

At the end of his college career, Ohio State gave him the “Block O” jersey because he demonstrated toughness, accountability and the highest of character. According to The Lantern, he had 346 yards rushing as a Buckeye and an average of 8.4 yards per carry on 40 attempts. His wideout record included 26 receptions for 329 yards and two touchdowns. He returned 27 kickoffs for 582 yards. 

“Now, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound weapon will look to scrape his way onto the 53-man roster for the Bills, something that undrafted free agents rarely accomplish,” wrote The Lantern. “But if anyone can do it, it’s Johnson who could be one of the few.” 

Xavier turned down scholarship offers out of high school to walk on to Ohio State. At the Summit, he played six positions – quarterback, running back, wide receiver, kick returner, punt returner defensive back – and still holds 10 school records: 

  • Season Kick-Off Return Average (2017) - 49.3 yards/attempt 

  • Career Kick-Off Return Average - 48.8 yards /attempt 

  • Season Kick-Off Return Yards (2017) - 542 yards 

  • Career Kick-Off Return Yards - 750 yards 

  • Season Punt Return Average (2017) - 49.0 yards /attempt 

  • Career Punt Return Average - 40.3 yards /attempt 

  • Career Receptions - 128 receptions 

  • Career Receiving Yards - 2,488 yards 

  • Career All-Purpose Yards - 5,355 yards 

  • Career Receiving Touchdowns - 25 TDs 

He participated in two state playoff appearances. He was All-State First Team at wide receiver in 2015, All-State Honorable Mention in 2017 as wide receiver. He was all-Miami Valley Conference (MVC) First Team three times from 2015-17 and all-MVC Honorable Mention in 2014 as a wide receiver. He was two time Associated Press Southwest Ohio First Team in 2016-17 at wide receiver. 

He is among the top five in records in five categories: All-Purpose Yards in a Season, Season Receiving Yards, Career touchdowns, Career Points Scored and Season Points Scored. 

Johnson made headlines across the country. Among the stories: 

Bills Central: Buffalo Bills Signing Ohio State Buckeyes WR Xavier Johnson Jr. to UDFA Deal 

Eleven Warriors: Buffalo Bills signing Ohio State wide receiver/running back Xavier Johnson as undrafted free agent 

Cleveland.com: Former Ohio State football walk-o

The Lantern: Johnson signs undrafted free agend deal with the Buffalo Bills 

Buckeyes Wire/USA Today: Ohio State receiver Xavier Johnson signs with Bills 

n turned captain signs with Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Enquirer: Summit Country Day grad Xavier Johnson signs with Buffalo Bills as undrafted free agent 

Heavy.com: Bills Sign Former Ohio State ‘Standout’ WR in First Moves After Draft 

5Goats: Former Ohio State walk-on Xavier Johnson agrees to UDFA deal with Buffalo Bills