99 Warriors: No. 98, All-American Linebacker and Two-Time Captain Thomas “Pepper” Johnson

By D.J. Byrnes on May 26, 2018 at 8:05 am
No. 98: Thomas "Pepper" Johnson

We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.

No. 98 Thomas “Pepper” Johnson

LB Pepper Johnson

b. July 29, 1964 (Detroit, MI)

  • Captain (1984, '85)
  • UPI All-American (1985)
  • Sporting News All-American First Team (1985)

Pepper Johnson is one of the hardest hitting linebackers in Buckeye history. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Pepper committed to Earle Bruce's program and quickly went to work.

A four-year letterman and two-year starter, Johnson was the only the fourth Buckeye in history to become a two-time captain.

Johnson, along with Chris Spielman, formed one of the most tenacious linebacker tandems in university history. The team named Pepper the defensive MVP during his junior and senior seasons, in which he was also named All-Big Ten and All-American. He went on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.

Photo: Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

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