The Saskatchewan Roughriders have huge shoes to fill along their defensive line, with the departure of 2019 sacks leader Charleston Hughes to the Toronto Argonauts.
Luckily for the green and white, they are welcoming back a familiar face this season.
Micah Johnson last played defensive line for the Riders in 2019, before signing a contract with a BC Lions for the 2020 season.
Johnson cited his familiarity with Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell as one of his main reasons for choosing B.C.
But those plans were derailed as the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19, and now Johnson finds himself back in a place he calls home.
“I really love this place, I love everything about it, in the bottom of my heart this is the place to be if you’re a football guy,” Johnson said.
The 6’2″ 278-pound lineman is being called on this season to be an anchor on the defensive unit and to mentor some of the younger players.
“What I’ve really liked about Micah is his leadership in that defensive line room,” Riders head coach Craig Dickenson said. “He’s one of the veterans and he’s probably got the most years under his belt and he’s leading by example on the football field.”
The entire coaching staff is glad to have Johnson back playing in Mosaic Stadium, where they hope he can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks this year.
“He is somebody that’s tough inside there who can draw double teams,” Riders defensive coordinator Jason Shivers said. “This year we’re going to try to get him free if we can, more than what he did in 2019. It’s great to have him back.”
Johnson had to battle through a lingering high ankle sprain in 2019 and is looking forward to showing what he can do when fully healthy.
“I feel like they didn’t get nearly the best Micah that they could get, so I’m just really excited to be able to put that out there and give the Saskatchewan fans the best Micah,” Johnson said.