Germany’s Marburg Mercenaries Sign Mississippi State Bulldog Robert Johnson

The Marburg Mercenaries of the German Football League have signed wide receiver Robert Johnson from Mississippi State University (NCAA Div. I, SEC) for the 2017 season.

The 6’2″, 212 lb native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, started 27 of 46 games for the Bulldogs in his four year career. In his senior season in 2014, he started all 13 games catching 14 passes for 227 yards from quarterback Dak Prescott, now starting for the Dallas Cowboys. That season Mississippi State was ranked number one for a time in the polls for the first time in their history and ultimately finished with a 10-2 record in the SEC.

American Football International asked Robert about how he ended up playing for Marburg and his expectations for 2017.

American Football International: How did you find your way to Germany and the Marburg Mercenaries?

Robert Johnson: I found my way to Germany and the Marburg Mercenaries just from communicating with a variety of coaches I’ve had my Europlayers account over two years now. and I have been communicating with players that have had successful careers overseas. For example I talked to guys like Silas Nacita, Mic Brown, Patrick Donahue, Chistian Rycraw, Logan Schrader, Casey Therriault, Christopher McClendon, Xavier Mitchell, Joseph LeBeau, and many more American import players.

AFI: How much did you know about football in Europe and Germany before this?

Johnson: I’ve always been accustomed to American football and where it is being played and always knew that there was football being played outside in Europe. I can remember playing Madden 2004 and you had the selection of chosen to play with six European teams at the time which were Amsterdam Admirals, Barcelona Dragons, Berlin thunder, Frankfurt Galaxy, Rhein Fire, and Scottish Claymores. So my knowledge of football being played in Europe was set at the age of 12.

Nov 23, 2013; Little Rock, AR, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Robert Johnson (12) carries the ball against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second quarter at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 23, 2013; Little Rock, AR, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Robert Johnson (12) carries the ball against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second quarter at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

AFI: What did you do after leaving Mississippi State?

Johnson: My two years from departing from college I didn’t get a invite for training camp, but go the opportunity to play in the FXFL which was a developmental football league based in Brooklyn, New York for the Florida Black Tips. Our games were played in MCU park in Coney Island. Our games were televised on ESPN 2 and was a great opportunity to play football in the fall and that was the start of my journey. I did pro day the second year around and did well, ended up getting two private workouts with my former quarterback Dak Prescott with the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. Later that April I got a call to play arena football in the IFL for the Nebraska Danger where I played for the remainder of the spring.

AFI: What are your best moments playing in college?

Johnson: Some of the best moments playing college football as you might know I could speak on numerous occasions and moments but what I’ll miss the most is the food prepared for us on Fridays at the team hotel whether we are playing home or away. The food always put me in a happy place and i knew I was going to get a good night’s rest. Although by far the best moment I had there was my senior year shocking the world and being ranked #1 for 8 weeks straight which has never been done in Mississippi State history left out as the winningest senior class ever in school history as well as 5 straight bowl appearances with a 3-2 bowl record.

AFI: What do you bring to the Mercenaries?

Johnson: What willI be bringing to Marburg? For most i put the team before myself, I will bring hardowrk and dedication and a passionate player all the way from Mississippi , I like to let my actions speak for themselves on the field, with me playing wide receiver I want to bring a vertical dual threat wide receiver who will block down the field. Having a running back and defensive back background I will look to exercise those two positions and will most importantly do my duties as a specialist in special teams. I led the team in my senior year in kick off returns in yards.

AFI: What are your expectations coming to Germany and for the team?

Johnson: I expect to meet and create personal and business relationships, I hope to make life long friends and knowing that it’ll be different such a culture shock I’m very addaptable and aware of my surroundings. Micheal Jordan once said that “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” so according to MJ this is me taken those shots. After being picked to play in two leagues that never got off the ground. The National Gridiron League which was going to be based in Australia and the other developmental league which was for free agents looking for an opportunity to play NFL or CFL. It seems like were all chasing after the same dream so may the best man win and can’t wait to meet my new FAMILY.

Check out Robert Johnson’s highlights from Mississippi State.

Interested in playing American football in overseas?

Register on Europlayers.com.

Europlayers is the largest online database of American football players, teams and coaches.  It is a connector, bringing together and introducing athletes to overseas teams. On the site you can begin researching teams around the world.  Once you create a profile, you become searchable by hundreds of American football clubs around the world.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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