Houston Texans CB Lonnie Johnson Pays for 14-Year-Old's Funeral

Houston Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson has only been in the league for a mere few months after being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he is using his high-profile status to make a positive impact on his hometown. The second-round pick from Kentucky by way of Gary, Indiana has offered to pay for the funeral of 14-year-old named Curtis Walton, who died in an accidental drowning.

Walton, a football player at Calumet High School, was pronounced dead on Sept. 12. Walton and his teammates had gone to the pool to cool off after Wednesday's practice.

According to reports, he was originally found unresponsive at the bottom of the school's swimming pool around 6 p.m. on Sept. 11. When Johnson saw news of this incident on his social media feed, he investigated the situation and then reached out to the family.

"I just wanted to help out, any way I could," Johnson said to reporters on Friday. "That's my goal: to bring life back to the city and give back to my city."

Johnson, who grew up in Gary, is no stranger to tragic events taking place in the city. When he was 15 years old, he lost a close friend to a shooting death.

"It was difficult the whole time I was there, so I know what his family feels like," Johnson said. "I lost a lot of people close to me, so I know what it's like to be in that position. I've been in that position plenty of times, so I just wanted to help out any way I could."

Given his upbringing in this city, Johnson believes that he was forced to grow up far earlier than many of his peers. As he explained to reporters, he may only be turning 24 years old, but he has the mindset of a much older player. He doesn't really play around. That certainly hasn't limited his want to help those in his need, and now that he has signed a four-year, $5.2 million contract with the Texans, Johnson can afford to help.

"It wasn't really about money to me, I just wanted to help that family so, at the end of the day, I felt like I did God's work," Johnson said.