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Gainesville High graduate, Denver Broncos starting linebacker Alexander Johnson continues giving back to Red Elephants' football program
Gainesville High graduate Alexander Johnson wears merchandise from his CB45 collection. — Photo courtesy Alexander Johnson

Because of Alexander Johnson’s influence, there’s a lot of Denver Broncos followers and fans within the Gainesville High football program. 

Johnson was one of the best to ever play football at Gainesville, and he is now is flourishing as starting middle linebacker for the Denver Broncos. 

Four years into his NFL career, a lot has changed in Johnson’s life. 

He’s married with a daughter and another child on the way. 

However, one thing has never changed: his adoration for the football program that made him the man he is today. 

Not only is Johnson one of the best at his position in the NFL, but he’s also an entrepreneur. 

He never forgets to keep the Red Elephants in the loop with his athletic product and apparel line CB45, a shortened handle for ‘Continue Believing’, a clear reflection of his Christian faith, and his jersey No. 45. 

This week, was the latest gift of gear — CB45 T-shirts and shorts — for all of the players in the Red Elephants program. 

This is a token of kindness that means a great deal to Gainesville coach Heath Webb. 

“Oh, the kids love getting stuff from him,” Webb said. “We’re a Nike school, and have lots of nice merchandise, but it means more when it comes from one of your guys.”

Although none of the current Gainesville players grew up around Johnson, and probably a scarce few remember seeing him wreck havoc on defense from 2007-2010 for the Red Elephants, they’re very familiar with one of the most prominent athletes from Gainesville High. 

Webb is blown away by the time Johnson spends with his program, when he gets a chance to visit home. 

Earlier this month, the star NFL linebacker was right there in the weightroom with the Red Elephants. Even though there is an age gap and the celebrity factor, Webb said his players aren’t intimidated to workout or initiate conversation with the undrafted free agent, who was a three-time All-American out of the University of Tennessee.

Johnson also uses his platform and his life experiences to make sure players know that lessons learned on the football field will help them conquer difficult times in life. 

“He tells all the kids to have faith and do things the right way,” Webb said. “Alexander takes so much pride in being a Red Elephant.”

This isn’t the first time Johnson has send his gear toward Gainesville’s program, and it won’t be the last. 

Webb said that a shipment of pink CB45 shirts, a gift from Johnson, will be used as a fundraiser during Breast Cancer Awareness Week. 

Now, no matter where you go in Gainesville, you are bound to see someone wearing CB45 shirts, pants or hats. 

It’s all a product of the fun-loving linebacker who, along with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, has the Gainesville High football program well-represented in the NFL. 

And Johnson’s affinity for his hometown extends out to Denver. 

During a recent autograph signing, Johnson was sporting a Gainesville golf shirt, as shown on his Instagram page. 

And last year during the Hall of Fame preseason game, in Canton, Ohio, Johnson wore his Red Elephants letterman jacket out on the field, Webb said. 

Now, any time Webb sees a delivery with Johnson’s name and the CB45 label of the box, he just smiles and gives his players the good news. 

“The cool part is he’s getting his brand out so well in our community,” Webb said. 

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