Italy: Firenze Guelfi sign former Maple League MVP finalist Gerard Johnson

The Firenze Guelfi of Florence, Italy, have signed former Norfolk State running back Gerard Johnson.

Johnson was a star quarterback throughout his entire high school career before making the move to running back upon signing with Old Dominion. Johnson amassed 1,135 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns before transferring to Norfolk State. In his senior year at Norfolk State, Johnson was utilized at both receiver and running back totaling 751 all-purpose yards. 

Johnson began his European career in Göteborg, Sweden, with the Marvels in 2018, where played quarterback when the team’s starter went down early in the season. He finished with 1,364 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 368 yards and another eight scores. He spent the 2019 season with the Kuopio Steelers in Finland’s Maple League, racking up 31 touchdowns – earning a  spot as a league MVP finalist.

Johnson had this to say on his signing:

“I’m just happy to get another opportunity to compete again. I chose Italy because they were very genuine about their approach. Also, their attitude towards winning was important for me.”

Look for former NFL Coach Steve Hagen to use the versatile offensive weapon in multiple positions as they take on reigning champions Milano Seamen April 17.

Check out Gerard Johnson’s highlights from 2019 season with Kuopio Steelers in Finland


Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.