The entire Eastern Michigan team got a surprise Saturday when Chris Creighton treated his players to a night at the Detroit Lions preseason game.
But the night got a whole lot better from there for one player.
Instead of a full-team walk-through on Saturday night, EMU made the trip to Detroit for the game against the New York Jets. EMU reached a bowl game for the first time in 29 years in 2016, so the Lions recognized the team on the video board during the second quarter. After answering a few questions from the in-stadium reporter, Creighton had a surprise for wideout Jaron Johnson, who was not-so-coincidentally seated right behind him.
“I had no idea. I just know it’s a blessing, I worked hard for it and I make my family proud,” Johnson told the team website. “My heart dropped when it happened to me I’m on the faithful and just grateful right now.”
Johnson, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior from Moreno Valley, California, was one of EMU’s main kickoff returners in 2016. He returned 24 kicks for a total of 440 yards — an 18.3-yard average. Johnson also had three tackles on special teams.
Eastern Michigan was the second program to give out a scholarship at a pro sports game over the weekend. Kansas gave out four scholarships at the Kansas City Royals game.
The Eagles open their season against Charlotte at home on Sept. 1.
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