Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Soul O-Lineman Johnson gets NFL chance with Cardinals

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Soul placed All-Arena Offensive Lineman Christian Johnson on the Other League Exempt List after the University of Kentucky product signed a futures deal with the Arizona Cardinals. 

Johnson's AFL rights remain with the Soul while he is with Arizona.

“We are very excited for Christian and his well-deserved opportunity with the Cardinals,” said Soul co-majority owner and current ESPN broadcaster, Ron Jaworski.  “Christian is a leader on and off the field and we are happy to see him get a chance to reach his goal of playing in the NFL.  Our football side of the organization – myself, Tom (Goodhines), Clint (Dolezel) and Phil (Bogle) – work diligently to get our players looks from the NFL teams and Christian’s name gets added to the list of success stories.”

As an AFL Lineman of the Year finalist, Johnson was part of the offensive unit that led the league in sacks allowed for the second consecutive season, by allowing only seven sacks.  In 2012, they led the league and set a franchise record of only allowing five sacks.

The Soul also announced the assignment of first-year Soul players: defensive back, Jacobi Jenkins (5’11, 195, East Carolina); wide receiver, V’Keon Lacey (6’4, 215, Angelo State); and defensive back, Kyle Whitehurst (6’0, 190, Hampton).

Jenkins, who enters his rookie season, was a four-year member of the Pirates and finished off his senior season with 30.0 solo tackles and 12 assists in nine games.  He finished his college career with 87.0 total tackles, 17 passes defended and two forced fumbles.

Lacey saw action in three games as a rookie with the Jacksonville Sharks in 2012.  He started all 11 games as a junior in 2009 at Angelo State, earning All-LSC South honors after leading the Rams with 74 catches, 878 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Whitehurst, entering his second year in the AFL, split one season between the Orlando Predators and Arizona Rattlers in 2012.  He combined to record 7.0 solo tackles, two assists between the two teams.  He also spent time with the Hartford Colonials (UFL), Virginia Destroyers (UFL) and Omaha Beef (IFL).

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