Former NFL Draft pick Paris Johnson enters his second season as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. Johnson primarily works with the defensive backs under secondary coach Harlon Barnett.
A Chicago native, Johnson began his collegiate football career at North Iowa Community College before transferring to Miami (Ohio) University. A two-year letterwinner (1997-98) for the RedHawks as a safety, Johnson was a member of the 1998 team that went 10-1 and tied for the Mid-American Conference East Division title. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft (No. 122 overall) by Arizona and played one season (1999) with the Cardinals. Johnson also was on practice squads for the Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys.
Following his playing career, Johnson spent over eight years in law enforcement (2003-11), serving as a police officer before participating in the NFL Players Association Coaching Internship Program. He was an assistant in 2012 at Central State (Ohio) University, coaching the defensive backs and special teams.
Johnson graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology from Miami in 2006. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in kinesiology.
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