Meet new Falcons running back Gartrell Johnson III

Gartrell Johnson at the 2009 NFL scouting combine.

Gartrell Johnson at the 2009 NFL scouting combine.


FLOWERY BRANCH – Running back Gartrell Johnson III has the locker across from Michael Turner.

He was understandably nervous before his first practice with the team on Wednesday.

“I got the call on Monday to come in a take a physical,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t sure if they were going to sign me or not.”

He was drafted by San Diego is 2009, but was later released.

“I was picked up on waivers by the New York Giants,” Johnson said. “I played there on special teams last year. I got a few carries. I’m just trying to move forward and become an NFL player.”

He was in training camp with the Giants, but was released. He was working out in Atlanta and living with his father.

He doesn’t know what his role will be yet.

“Pretty much, I played against the Falcons last year,” Johnson said. “I was on special teams so we had a feel for each other. I just know this is a good opportunity.”

Johnson played on the kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return units for the Giants last year.


FLOWERY BRANCH – One of our commentators –   James Ray — found this website and shared the link.

You can go here to meet new Falcons running back Gartrell Johnson III, who’s listed as the No. 4 running back on the roster. I will update after we talk to him during the opening locker room session later this morning.

He’s been assigned No. 27. Here’s the Falcons bio.

Written by Gartrell Johnson July 30, 2009

I’ve been working out twice a day getting ready for my first training camp. I’m really anxious to get started. You hear some horror stories about how tough training camp is, but I’m ready for it. Everyone I talk to says it’s all business and that I should catch any naps that I can during the day because they say you might not get much sleep with all the stuff going on.

I got to talk to Jacob Hester a little bit since he was a rookie last year and just went through it. He talked about the fact that camp is just a grind. It’s good to know that I can go to him with any questions.

It’s hard to explain to people how much I love playing football. I just can’t wait to put the pads on and do it. The grind is actually what I’m looking forward to the most. I want to get motivated every day and see myself get better. My goal is to work hard and show everyone that I go all out every play. I think that if I show that I will find my way on to the field in some way during the season.

I’m also curious to see what camp life is all about in terms of the guys. I’ll have to get a feel for everything. I’m curious to see how everyone acts around each other. I’m sure the PlayStation will come out at some point too.

I signed my first NFL contract the other day and it was a dream come true. I have wanted this for a long time and I am really excited to officially be in the NFL. I view it as a stepping stone in my career. It’s one of those goals that you achieve before anything else. I signed my contract during the day then boarded a plane to my first training camp that night. It was a good day all around.

Camp started Monday for the rookies here at our training facility. I’m ready.

Gartrell Johnson is a rookie running back with the San Diego Chargers. His blog for runs at Follow him on Twitter as gartrelljohnson.

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32 comments Add your comment


September 22nd, 2010
9:43 am

JR and DLed
Thanks for the info–there’s not too much out there about these new RBs….


September 22nd, 2010
9:59 am

He’s never going to play this is hardly news….Good day


September 22nd, 2010
10:09 am

Oh no….not another hairball in a football helmet! Be and look like a real man like Snelling and Turner!

Jay Sweenmeister

September 22nd, 2010
10:19 am

@Larry so Stephen Jackson isn’t?

The Grinch

September 22nd, 2010
10:28 am

Well, he certainly sounds like he has a lot more class than some of the posters here.

Welcome to Atlanta, Gartrell. Hope you can be rewarded with a trip to the playoffs.


September 22nd, 2010
10:39 am

Seems to me to be a reasonable young man. Some of you posters are just idiots!

TXDawg (The Real TXDawg)

September 22nd, 2010
10:51 am

Thanks DLed….any info on Shawnbrey?


September 22nd, 2010
10:57 am

Hey D Led is Jenkins a go for this week or not ??? Seems like a nice guy, but probably won’t see the field unless we have another injury to a RB or unless it’s on special teams !

Anthony Abraham

September 22nd, 2010
10:58 am

It’s unfortunate but Norwood was already out for the season prior to Sunday’s injury. He rarely runs with confidence and seems afraid of getting hit. I expect Gartrell to be a pleasant surprise. I also expect him to show more heart than Norwood ever did. Again, if Norwood didn’t have a yellow brick road to the endzone, he was timid! He’s made his money so good for him but he’ll never be any good to any football team until he toughens up.

Doc Cheney

September 22nd, 2010
11:02 am

Ok, whoever you are doing the Whitney Houston thing. It is mildly clever, but it is so 2002.
I think your “talents” could be better used somewhere else. His blog makes him seem like a pretty cool guy, and he probably reads this since he is apparently an intelligent/consiencious player.
So save it for a later day so we don’t create the impression that we are all a bunch of idiots.
And as for the guy commenting on another man’s hairdo, I don’t what to say. Ugay? Must be b/c I’m not, and I sure don’t give a damn about his haircut.


September 22nd, 2010
11:03 am

is there any chance that the Falcons might bring C.J. Spillars to Atlanta ?


September 22nd, 2010
11:05 am

What the heck is going on w/ Michael Jenkins? Has he had a setback that isn’t being reported? Not that he’s a major improvement over Finn but still….. it’d be nice to know.

Doc Cheney

September 22nd, 2010
11:07 am

Without Norwood we don’t have a single player with breakaway speed. Roddy White is tough as hell and has great hands, but he is the third fastest guy on the field at any given time. I guess Harry Douglas is fast. I can’t remember when I saw him run a flat out route.
I guess Turner is the new L.T., and Snelling is the new old Turner.


September 22nd, 2010
11:34 am

I remember this kid in his last college game at Colorado State, he was un-friggin-believable. I’m talking about one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen, I had always wondered why he did not go higher. Dude ran for 285 yards and caught 89 yards worth of passes. I mean, 374 yards by himself? He has home-run hitter ability as well, I mean, a 77 yard TD run?

I literally could not believe my eyes and I always filed him away as someone to watch. I am damn glad he is a Falcons. He is a poor man’s Steven Jackson, and he is one hell of a running back. Though we are stacked at the position, I promise this kid could make a great run. I have never been as impressed by a running back in a bowl game since… well Steven Jackson’s six TD’s in the Las Vegas Bowl in his last year in college.

Gartrell Johnson. This guy is really, really good.


September 22nd, 2010
11:50 am

TD knows who to sign and why. Read his statement again, what do you see? I see a character guy that is a team player first. What if Albert Haynesworth had that kind of attitude? or Matt Lienhart? GO FALCONS!!!


September 22nd, 2010
11:55 am

Though off topic and Ryan had an outstanding Game last week, I really think Schaub is going to look as bad as getting rid of Farve. Oddly, I think we got the same Compensation for both, a 2nd Round Pick.

Already, last Season he led the NFL in Passing Yards, and last week he threw for almost 500 Yards.
And this is saying nothing of what Vick is doing in Philadelphia.


September 22nd, 2010
12:12 pm

Every now and then you find a diamond in the rough, I hope that is the case with this guy.


September 22nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Welcome to A-town 3G, good luck!
Go Birds!

Open Minded

September 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm

I too watched Gartrell Johnson run like a bulldozer while he played at Colorado State… this guy is a machine and I’m saying I don’t care how he wears his hair or even if he has hair… this kid is the real deal… he will become a starter for the Falcons in time. He has a tremendous on-field presence!!!

When did we pick him up anyway?

Section 108

September 22nd, 2010
12:59 pm

Anybody know about Jenkins this week???

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 22nd, 2010
1:10 pm

Nothing on Jenkins yet. He’s expected to return to practice today.


September 22nd, 2010
2:19 pm

why the !@#%^ did we not sign betts?! why do the saints always get the best free agents? bush and norwood are very similar so don’t give me that gartrell is like norwood crap

ATL krusher

September 22nd, 2010
2:21 pm

3G, I like that..Welcome to Atlanta 3G. Good luck, hope everything works out for you here.


September 22nd, 2010
3:07 pm

Hey LARRY do you have HAIR? Feeling abit unliked?


September 22nd, 2010
3:25 pm

No whoever that is…Spiller was a first rd pcik by the Bills. If they arent gving up Lynch, why would they give up Spiller….sometimes people on here make some really….intelligently-challenged…


September 22nd, 2010
3:57 pm

@DOL: Do we have any 40 times on this guy?


September 22nd, 2010
4:22 pm

Little more info: Kid is out of Miami (forget HS ) formerly known as Gartrell Shavers, Class of ‘03 or ‘04. Went out to Colorado State.

Open Minded

September 22nd, 2010
5:31 pm

DOL…. How , when did we pick up Gartrell Johnson.. I can’t find it ?

Notso Fast

September 22nd, 2010
6:45 pm

I saw that he has a 4.62 40 time which is not the break away speed we need. He has had some truly outstanding games but none at this level. The Falcons could use someone with speed like Norwood.

Frank Wilson

September 23rd, 2010
2:19 am

Yea, like Norwood. Duh!

Crack is Whack. Whitney aint EVA gun be fat.

September 24th, 2010
12:52 pm

Enter your comments here


September 25th, 2010
12:40 pm

i saw gatrell in college and wow….this kid is full speed ahead up the hole ..very good pick up atlanta … jerious cant hit those gaps with a small lower body frame….he only good in the flats or off screen passes….or put in motion….