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Billy Johnson

Running Back

William Arthur Johnson

Inducted 1996

Date of Birth



Boothwyn, PA


Widener University (1971-1973)


The 1973 NCAA football guide had this to say before the season: "With 9.5 speed, white football shoes, and an end zone touchdown dance, he's earned the nicknames, Blazin' Billy White Shoes and Lovable Hot Dog. His real name is Billy Johnson. He's 5-foot 9-inch, 180-pound halfback at tiny Widener College." The description was good throughout Johnson's college and pro career. He was a terrific performer, he wore white shoes, and he did an end zone dance. When his three Widener seasons were added up, he had 3,737 yards rushing. His average was 9.1 yards per carry. He had 5,404 yards in all-purpose running (rushing, receiving, kick returns). He held nine NCAA records, 12 Middle Atlantic Conference records, and 24 school records. Johnson was fast and tricky. He scored 62 touchdowns in 1971-1973. His longest runs from scrimmage were 93, 87, and 85 yards. He scored on punt returns of 94, 91, and 80 and a kickoff return of 85. Johnson played with Houston, Atlanta, and Washington in the National Football League 1974-80 and 1982-88. (He was in the Canadian League in 1981). He was a wide receiver and kick return specialist and he repeated his college achievements. When the NFL named its all-time 75-year team, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson was named as the kick return specialist.


Height 5'9

Weight 170

Career Highlights

  • 1973 All-Conference
  • 1973 Conference MVP
  • 1973 First Team All-America (College Div.)
  • 1973 Led nation in rushing
  • 1973 Led nation in scoring
  • 1972 All Conference
  • 1972 Conference MVP
  • 1972 First Team All-America (College Div.)
  • 1972 Led nation in punt returns
  • 1972 Led nation in rushing
  • 1972 Led nation in scoring
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