Former University of Texas linebacker Gary Johnson Jr. re-ups with Roughriders

Photo courtesy: Texas Athletics

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American linebacker Gary Johnson Jr. to a contract extension through the 2022 season.

The six-foot, 230-pound Johnson returns to the Riders after initially joining the team in October of 2019. The 24-year-old signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent and attended 2019 training camp with Washington Football Team. Johnson played in two pre-season games for Washington making three tackles.  

In a two-year NCAA career at the University of Texas, Johnson recorded 150 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, eight-and-a-half sacks and three forced fumbles in 26 games. His success saw him named to the 2018 Bednarik Award and Butkus Award watch lists and to the second team All-Big 12.

Prior to becoming a Longhorn, the Alabama native was a highly ranked junior college prospect at Dodge City Community College. Johnson holds a school-record 215 tackles over two seasons while also adding 11.5 sacks and five interceptions. 

The Riders have also signed American wide receiver Charone Peake.

The five-foot-10, 205-pound Peake joins the Riders after four years in the NFL, almost exclusively with the New York Jets. The Jets selected Peake in the seventh round, 241st overall during the 2016 NFL Draft. He went on to play 31 games and made 22 receptions for 214 yards and 9.7 yard average. The 28-year-old spent the early part of 2020 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  

In the NCAA, Peake played five seasons at Clemson appearing in 51 games and made 99 receptions for 1,172 yards and 10 touchdowns. The South Carolina had a particularly strong senior year where he overcame injury to be named co-captain and become the Tigers second-leading receiver with 50 catches for 716 yards and five touchdowns. Peake was rewarded for his comeback with an invite to the 2016 Senior Bowl.