Bo Nix's Brother Sends Bold Message to Broncos HC Sean Payton

Bo Nix's adopted brother is hoping for a fairy-tale ending to their football story.
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton and rookie quarterback Bo Nix.
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton and rookie quarterback Bo Nix. / Ben Swanson/Denver Broncos

The Bo Nix story is a classic American tale. A young quarterback who dreamed of following in his father's footsteps at Auburn. Nix did just that, rocking the same jersey number and going on to start as a true freshman for the Auburn Tigers.

Peyton Manning followed in his father, Archie's, footsteps. These are iconic American football stories, and while Nix has already achieved a storybook tale of sorts, the chronicle is just getting started.

A compelling aspect of the Nix story is how Tez Johnson fits in. Bo's father, Patrick, coached Pinson Valley High School football, which is where Johnson entered the orbit and was grafted into the Nix family.

Tez and Bo were blessed to continue their playing careers together last season at Oregon, where Johnson caught 86 passes for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Nix turned in a Heisman-caliber campaign. Nix's No. 1 target over the past two seasons at Oregon — Troy Franklin — followed him to the Mile High City as a fellow member of the Denver Broncos' 2024 draft class.

Johnson has one more year to go at Oregon, but he's hoping to stay on Denver's radar. In a conversation with Ducks Digest's Bri Amaranthus, Johnson shared his plans to visit his adopted brother in the Mile High City, and offered up a message for Broncos head coach Sean Payton.

“I’m definitely going to visit him,” Johnson told Amaranthus.  “I’ll be there for sure. So, Sean Payton, if you see this, I'll be visiting Bo in Denver!"

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It might sound like a fairy-tale longshot, for now, but that hasn't stopped the two brothers from fantasizing about the possibility of reuniting for a third time as Broncos. And who knows? If it happens, maybe some Hollywood producer will make a movie about it like the Michael Oher story depicted in The Blind Side.

“It would be great,” Johnson told Amaranthus. “I told Bo, 'If Sean Payton drafts me, we're making a movie - we're definitely going to make a movie, me and you, the starring characters.’

Johnson provided some context for what the movie could be titled. Clearly, this is something the two brothers have talked about.

“We don't know the name of it yet," Johnson told Amaranthus. "I'm thinking the movie should be called Reunited. That's just off the top of my head … If Sean Payton drafts me, which I would love, I'll be reunited with Bo and Troy Franklin... And I think we could win a Super Bowl.”

As a kid from a less-than-affluent family, the Nixes took a teenage Johnson in, and before long, he was essentially an adopted member of the family. Patrick Nix gets choked up when he's asked about how Johnson became part of the family during his and Bo's high school days.

Bo went on to great things at Auburn, while Johnson's path was a little bit more winding. Still, the Football Gods willed the brothers back together at Oregon, so there's no telling what fate awaits them if Johnson can build on his collegiate momentum and become a bonafide NFL prospect next year.

For now, Nix is still swimming in the assimilation process at Broncos HQ. He had an impressive rookie minicamp, which seemed to make believers out of even the biggest skeptics in local media.

Nix's fit with Payton is undisputable, and Johnson sees his brother leading the Broncos to big things.

“Whatever team Bo goes to, they're going to have success,” Johnson told Amaranthus before the draft. “That's no doubt."

As for Payton, "He's the best guy in the NFL. The guy is unbelievable," Johnson said.

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Chad Jensen


Chad Jensen is the Founder of Mile High Huddle and creator of the wildly popular Mile High Huddle Podcast. Chad has been on the Denver Broncos beat since 2012 and is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.