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FB Austin Johnson makes Saints’ practice squad

September 2, 2013

(Photo special to the O-N-E)

Former Hickory High and University of Tennessee standout Austin Johnson has signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Johnson, who was one of 17 players cut by the Saints on Saturday to reduce their roster size to the league mandated 53 players, will be a member of New Orleans’ practice squad.

He will reportedly make $6,000 a week.

The 24-year-old Johnson tweeted after his signing on Sunday: “Blessed and grateful having the opportunity to continue my playing career with the #WhoDatNation.”

A 6-foot-2, 240-pound fullback, Johnson played in all four preseason games in 2013 for the Saints.

He caught four passes for 23 yards and a touchdown, which came in the Saints’ preseason finale on Thursday at Miami.

After tallying 126 tackles in college for the Volunteers, Johnson was offered a three-year rookie free agent deal in 2012 by the Baltimore Ravens.

However, the Ravens rescinded their offer to Johnson after it was discovered that he had suffered a torn labrum.

Johnson is now one of two Hickory High products in the NFL, joining Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop.

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