Johnny Stanton is the newest Cleveland Brown. The former Nebraska and UNLV football player has taken a rather circuitous route to the NFL city as he started his playing days as a quarterback.
Stanton joins his new team after spending one season in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings as a tight end and full back. It’s expected he’ll be joining the Browns as the same kind of player, something that’s notable to Cleveland fans because it shows there are changes afoot when it comes to the team’s offense.
The team didn’t use the fullback under former head coach Freddie Kitchens. Pro Football Rumors reports new Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski used the position plenty in 2019 when he was the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.
Stanton played for Stefanski last year, or at least practiced under the newly hired head coach. The former Nebraska football quarterback was signed as an undrafted free-agent and joined the Minnesota practice squad.
CJ Ham was the starting fullback under Stefanski last year, mostly serving as the lead blocker for running back Dalvin Cook. It’s not guaranteed that Johnny Stanton will be the Cleveland Browns starting fullback.
His signing before the team has brought in many other players at the position and has Pro Football Rumors believing he’ll at least get the first crack at winning the starting job for his new team.
Under Stefanski, Cook managed to run for over 1,600 yards despite missing some time due to various injuries. Stanton or whoever the Browns decide to play at the position will be blocking for Nick Chubb, who ran for nearly 1,500 yards in 2019 without the benefit of a fullback running ahead of him, picking off tacklers.
Johnny Stanton’s football career has taken a couple of different career trajectories. He signed with the Nebraska football team as a much-heralded quarterback prospect under then-head coach Bo Pelini. He picked the Cornhuskers over big programs like Oregon, Wisconsin, and Utah.
Despite being thought of as one who could be the next great Husker QB when he landed in Lincoln, he threw only one pass in two years. After trying a couple of position changes, he ended up transferring to perennial Mountain West doormat, UNLV.
In two seasons with the Running Rebels, Stanton wasn’t able to win the starting quarterback job full-time but he did get more playing time than when he was with Nebraska. He finished his college career with just over 1,400 yards passing and 10 touchdowns through the air while adding 327 yards on the ground.