The most “unlikely” scenario has come true for the Colorado Buffaloes.
Mustafa Johnson looks likely to Boulder just days before the start of the 2021 football season. The All-Pac-12 defensive lineman went undrafted in April’s NFL Draft and declined a training camp invitation to join the New York Jets.
Mustafa Johnson still has plenty of ties to this team and Boulder as a whole, and he is excited for his last time in the Black and Gold:
“I’m extremely excited to be back in the black and gold! I’m thankful for this opportunity because many people do not get a second chance when it doesn’t work out. I hope to make the best of my last ride! As for my teammates there is no better feeling then to get back out there and play with them! I’ve been watching them the whole time and excited to see them excel on the field and am thankful I can be there to see it.”
Johnson returns to the Buffs after the NCAA granted another year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since he wasn’t taken in the Draft and never signed with an NFL team, Johnson was able to receive a waiver that preserved his eligibility and cleared a path back to CU.
The monster sack master on Colorado’s defensive line has accounted for 26 tackles for loss (15 sacks) in 27 career games. His 73 tackles in 2018 was the most by a CU defensive lineman since 1997, while his 18 TFLs were the most by any CU player since 1993, according to CU athletics.
A one-time JUCO transfer, Johnson gathered attention from several division I schools while at Modesto Junior College in central California. He notched 58 tackles (13 for loss), along with 6.5 sacks in 2017.
Johnson was a projected draft pick before his senior season, but medical issues caused him to go undrafted. It is not clear when he is available to play for the Buffs. Colorado opens the 2021 season on Friday against Northern Colorado.