Born on November 16, 1971
August 20, 2022
Kevin Johnson-Kinnee's senior season was 1989. KJ was a starting linebacker as a sophomore on an 11-1 Conference Championship team that was undefeated in the regular season. He was a starting linebacker, QB and punter on the 1988 and 1989 State Runner-Up teams. He was Franklin Central's leading tackler for three straight seasons. He was a captain his senior year. He was All-Conference, All-County, and All-State his junior and senior seasons. He was the 1989 Indianapolis News All-Metro Player of the Year. Kevin was a three-sport athlete. He lettered two years in basketball and started on the Sectional Championship teams in 1989 and 1990. He was also a two-year letterman and starter in baseball.
Butler University, Ball State University
Following graduation, Kevin attended Butler University during the 1990 and 1991 seasons. He was Butler's leading tackler for two years and holds the Butler record for most solo tackles (21) in a game, and also for total tackles (29-solos and assists) in a game. He ranked #4 for season total tackles (150) after playing only two years. He was MVP on defense and was first team All-Conference on a Conference Championship team his sophomore year. After the 1991 season, Kevin walked on at Ball State University. He had to sit out the 1992 season. His efforts on the scout team, while sitting out, not only earned him a scholarship but also the 1992 Scout Team Player of the Year. He was Ball State's leading tackler the next two years. He owns Ball State's two highest single season tackle totals with 204 in 1993 and 196 in 1994. Both totals were tops in the MAC during those seasons. He set the Ball State record of 29 solo tackles in a single game his junior year. This accomplishment tied Jack Lambert's (Kent State and Pittsburgh Steeler Super Bowl Champion and NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker) record. The difference was, Kevin accomplished it, three times in one season. He was All-Conference two years and was caption his 1994 senior season. KJ's 1993 Ball State team was the Mid-American Conference Champion and played in the Las Vegas Bowl. During the 1993 Championship season, he was the Conference Defensive Player of the Week four times. He earned that honor three more times during his senior season in 1994. He was a National College Football All-Star Game participant in 1994. Common sense would tell one that these types of accomplishments were impossible for a linebacker that was 5'9" and 210lbs.
Kevin was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in August of 2022. He was the first Flashes football player to receive this honor. He was also inducted into Ball State's Football Hall of Fame in 2022.
Kevin was diagnosed with ALS in September of 2020 and is battling the disease much like he played football. His message, "Smile, It's Contagious". #LifewithALS, #Kinneeskrew