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Browns sign former USF tailback D’Ernest Johnson

The Bulls’ former all-purpose star played for the Orlando Apollos of the AAF
Former USF tailback D'Ernest Johnson, who has signed with the Browns, shined in eight games for the Orlando Apollos of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Former USF tailback D'Ernest Johnson, who has signed with the Browns, shined in eight games for the Orlando Apollos of the now-defunct Alliance of American Football. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published May 16, 2019

Former Bulls all-purpose back D’Ernest Johnson has parlayed his productive ― albeit brief ― stint in the Alliance of American Football into an NFL opportunity.

The Browns announced Thursday they’ve signed Johnson, who remains USF’s career leader in all-purpose yardage (4,186). To make roster room, the club waive running back L.J. Scott.

Johnson, one of three former Bulls to play for the AAF’s Orlando Apollos this past spring, ranked third in the league in rushing (64 carries, 372 yards, two touchdowns) when it abruptly folded after eight weeks of the 10-week regular season.

Before joining the Apollos, he had been working as a personal trainer in Gainesville. He previously participated in a three-day Saints mini-camp, and tried to hook up with Houston’s franchise in the fledgling American Patriot League, but received no follow-up phone calls.

Related: D’Ernest Johnson, other locals, shine in Orlando Apollos triumph

He finished his USF career with 1,796 rushing yards, and exited with the school’s career record for receptions (73) and receiving yards (909) by a running back.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.