Spotlight

Isaiah Johnson

Trust Spotlights

Isaiah Johnson

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Isaiah Johnson, the former Georgia Tech star and NFL safety, today is focused on encouraging the next generation of athletes and Former Players to find their voice and use it. 

Johnson describes himself as a poetic inspirational speaker, an investor, and, most importantly, a humble servant. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started playing football at a young age out of a love for the game and with an appreciation of how the sport brought camaraderie to his family.

Having grown up surrounded by phenomenal football players, Johnson never thought he would have the opportunity to play in college, much less the League. When it came time for him to decide on a college, however, Johnson was a standout at his high school and saw football as a means to open doors for himself and his family.

His desire to excel both in the classroom and on the field was at the heart of his decision to attend The Georgia Institute of Technology. “I ended up choosing Georgia Tech because it was the best of both worlds as far as athletically and academically,” he said. Johnson’s five years at the school were spent earning his bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in finance, along with going on to earn his master’s in building construction—a degree inspired by his father, who was a life-long carpenter.

His love for inspirational speaking also began during college when he started traveling to local schools to encourage young people to utilize school resources and relationships for self development. Furthermore, Isaiah found his poetic voice when his football career came to an end. After attending an Open Mic Spoken word event in 2019, he challenged himself to utilize this creative outlet to help cope into his football retirement.

I feel very confident with sharing my voice, pouring into the school systems and the next generation of athletes when it comes to maximizing your brand and opportunities.

After graduating with two degrees, Johnson went on to play for the Detroit Lions, the Los Angeles Rams, and the Indianapolis Colts during his time in the League. He reflects on his NFL career as consisting of times that were “purely about football," with off seasons dedicated to connecting with business professionals. He wanted to make sure he would be ready to take on life after the game.

When he suffered a shoulder injury in his final year in the League, Johnson decided to dedicate himself to poetic inspirational speaking full-time to spread his thoughts and experience with self-development, financial literacy, and the arts.

In the years since leaving the League, Johnson has been on speaking tours in Africa with the Black Authors Matter Tour, has had his poem “Freedom Come Tomorrow” featured at a TEDx event at the University of South Africa, and has written his first book, Voices of Life: Poetry in Motion. Johnson is gearing up again to go on a speaking tour in South Africa this summer with other former athletes to help empower the global youth to use their voices creatively.

#38 Isaiah Johnson celebrating with teammates after interception.

Johnson’s current passion is encouraging other Former NFL Players and other former athletes to get involved in the realm of public speaking. "I really want to put others on a platform to share their story,” he said. “We all have is a voice that people really want to listen to."

While transitioning out of the League, Johnson utilized the NFLPA’s externship program to gain hands-on opportunities with major companies. His externships included opportunities with DC Events, Fanatics, and Financial Finesse. His favorite experiences included being exposed to collegiate athletic apparel design through Fanatics and speaking to middle school students about credit and financial literacy through Financial Finesse.

This fall, The Trust’s own Fellowship Program will offer Trust Members similar opportunities that allow them to gain valuable work experience with major companies.

I enjoy doing all things with The Trust because it keeps me connected to Former Players. Just being around players is fulfilling—it is tapping into that brotherhood.

Johnson has also been a proud user of Score, a long-time Trust partner, to achieve assistance with business ideas and financial literacy. Additionally, Johnson utilized the the Brain and Body Assessment at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and encourages all Former Players to go get their assessment to improve their overall health and wellness.

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