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Profile of the Week: Colby Johnson

By Dalyn Johnson
On October 8, 2021

Photo courtesy of Ottawa University Football

Colby Johnson is a name you won’t forget. As the 2021 season began, his objective was not only to win but to forever be enshrined in Ottawa’s history books. Johnson, a linebacker for the Braves, has been a huge part of the Braves' defensive success for quite some time, taking his biggest leap from his 2017 freshman season with only eight total tackles to 2018 gaining 90 total tackles. 


In 2020, he earned his first All-American honors, finishing 5th in the NAIA for total tackles. Football has always been a big part of his life since he started playing in the third grade. 


The El Dorado, Kansas, native cites his mom as his biggest influence and motivator.


“We would always watch football on the weekends,” he says. “I would run around and tackle anything I could, mainly my siblings.” 


This sparked his love for the game, ultimately making him the player he has become today.


“To see all the stuff she has gone through and still be able to support me with everything is quite amazing. She’s always been by my side through the good and the bad. And she always motivates me. Sometimes she coaches me harder than our coaches. But she just knows the goals I have set for myself,” he says.


The previous tackling record was held by Fielding Brenner with 347 total tackles in 2013, almost a decade-long record that probably seemed to be untouchable. 


He was able to break the astonishing record just a few games into the season. 


He says the record is, “Definitely a huge accomplishment for me, and a goal I had set for myself a while back. Still crazy to me that I was able to accomplish it.” 


Johnson is playing in his fifth year for Ottawa, using the extra year of eligibility granted by the NAIA after having last year not count for anybody. With many games left in the season, he has a chance to surpass 400 total tackles. 


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