COLLEGE: North Carolina State
BORN: March 24, 1962 in Morehead City, N.C.
JOINED SAINTS: 1986
YEARS WITH SAINTS: 1986 - 1993
Vaughan Johnson's Career Background
Nicknamed "Super Collider" as one of the hardest hitters in the NFL and a member of the famous linebacker corps the "Dome Patrol," Johnson was enshrined into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2000.
Prior to his time in the Black and Gold, Johnson was drafted by the Jacksonville Bulls in 1984 USFL Draft, where he spent two seasons. He was selected by the Saints in the first round (15th overall) of the 1984 NFL supplemental draft of eligible seniors who had already signed with a USFL or CFL team. In 1986, Johnson finally joined the Saints after the USFL folded.
Johnson made an immediate impact in New Orleans, appearing in all 16 games in his first season, where he finished with 33 tackles (30 solo), one sack, one interception, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery. One of his most productive years came in 1993, where Johnson recorded 110 tackles (81 solo), five sacks for a loss of 42 yards, three passes defensed and four forced fumbles. Overall, through eight seasons with the Saints, Johnson played in 120 games with 98 starts and posted 664 tackles (519 solo), 12 sacks for a loss of 52 yards, four interceptions, 27 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.
His role in the Dome Patrol was honored as he was selected to four consecutive Pro-Bowls from 1989-1992. His final Pro Bowl appearance also featured his fellow linebacker teammates, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills and Pat Swilling, marking the first and only time in NFL history that four linebackers from the same team made the Pro Bowl together.
After his final Saints campaign (1993), Johnson signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for a year before retiring from the NFL after the 1994 season. The Morehead City, N.C. native returned to his hometown to work in the family's construction business while working as an assistant coach and running football camps. Later, he started his own concrete construction business.
Johnson was honored in 2011 as he was inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the last of the Dome Patrol to be enshrined. In 2019, Johnson passed away at the age of 57.
Vaughan Johnson's College Career
Hailing from North Carolina State, Johnson led the Wolfpack in tackles during both his junior and senior year, where he earned All-American honors. He finished his collegiate career with 384 tackles, sixth most in Wolfpack record books.
Vaughan Johnson's Career Honors
Pro-Bowl – 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992
2nd Team All-Pro – 1989
New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame