Two visits to Macy’s wound up costing Damaris Johnson a great deal.
Not in terms of money out of his pocket, at least immediately. He only paid $13.25 for what he picked up at the department store, which was a problem since the then-Tulsa wide receiver left with $2,834 worth of merchandise. Johnson was undercharged by his girlfriend, who worked at the store, and wound up pleading guilty to embezzlement charges after the scam was brought to light. Johnson did 80 hours of community service and his record has been expunged, but the incident led to his dismissal from the Tulsa team and a 2011 season without football.
It also led to Johnson, the NCAA’s all-time leader in kickoff return and all purpose yards, going undrafted in April, something that didn’t seem possible before his ill-fated trip to Macy’s. The Eagles signed him as an undrafted free agent and Johnson says he’s ready to move on with his life.
“I just took my mistake like a man and just got over it and [promised to] never make that mistake again,” Johnson said, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “Move on with my life and just try to go on with football and show people that I’m a better person than that.”
The Eagles were not good on kickoff returns last season, which gives Johnson an excellent chance to earn a spot this summer if he can quickly knock off the rust from his long layoff. It might not be an ideal situation, but it could have been much worse for Johnson given the way his collegiate career came to an end.