Former Notre Dame Football Player Declared ‘Missing and Endangered’

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Gregory Shamus / Stringer

According to authorities, Ethan Johnson, a former football player at Notre Dame, has been declared missing and endangered. Both the Vancouver and Wahington police have announced that Johnson, who also suffered a traumatic brain injury, is missing. 

“Vancouver police are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing and endangered 32-year-old man,” the network said in its report.

Johnson was a former Fighting Irish defensive lineman from 2008 until 2011. He was last seen near his Portland, Oregon-area home. 

According to Portland’s KATU, the 32-year-old is supposed to be on medication but may not be taking it properly. 

The report added, “Ethan Andrew Johnson was last seen Saturday, Oct. 8 near 5585 Evergreen Blvd., unit 5305. Police say he suffered a traumatic brain injury. He also suffers from schizo-effective disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and depression. He’s supposed to be taking medication, but police say it is not known if he is taking what he needs.”

Johnson, who was once ranked as one of the best defensive line prospects in the US, turned down scholarships from major schools such as USC and Michigan. However, he accepted an offer from Notre Dame. During his freshman year, he started four games. 

He ended his Notre Dame career with 89 tackles and 12.5 sacks.

After his college career, he attempted an NFL run when he tried to enter the league as an undrafted free agent. Sadly, he suffered a significant concussion as he tried to make the Kansas City Chiefs roster in 2013.

Later, he was listed as a plaintiff in the class-action concussion lawsuits filed against the NFL. “Getting fired from my first job because of a concussion still leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” Johnson admitted to Rolling Stone back in 2014. 

Notre Dame offers message of support to former football star:’ You are not alone’

He added: “I went to Kansas City’s camp and I felt like I was doing alright and then I got injured. I was concussed. I was technically still concussed and still under doctor’s care when they released me. The GM and the coach said they hadn’t seen enough to keep me.” 

Johnson continued to describe his injury: “It was a punt drill, one-on-one and I just took a hit to the helmet and got knocked on my butt. I didn’t get knocked out. A lot of people think you have to get knocked out to get a concussion. Not true. I was just dazed and my head hurt.”

Afterward, he returned to his high school, where he worked as a tutor. His Fighting Irish family is also doing its part to locate their former player, as the Holtz’ Heroes Foundation posted a message on social media.

“Please share and say a prayer,” the foundation wrote on Twitter. “Ethan, you are not alone. Please contact us, and we can assist you.”