“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”
A. J. JOHNSON – LINEBACKER – TENNESSEE
AT A GLANCE
Returning Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List Nominee (2013)
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 245
Hometown: Gainesville, Ga
High School: Gainesville
OFF THE FIELD
A. J. Johnson is a senior linebacker for the University of Tennessee Volunteers who has made significant contributions to his community off the football field since stepping foot on campus. Throughout the community he has participated in multiple service projects including Habitat for Humanity. He and his teammates have made numerous visits to the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley where they talk to the kids about the importance of school and staying active. The team visited East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and cheered up pediatric patients. Johnson helped out with the Tennessee Special Olympics and Read Across America where they visited local Knoxville elementary schools to read to students. The entire team helped out with Knox Area Rescue Missions to help rescue those in need all over the Knoxville, Tennessee community.
Johnson has contributed significantly to the entire football team’s 1,322 total service hours. Johnson also received the Extra Effort Award for the Fall 2013 semester for going the extra mile in the classroom academically.
ON THE FIELD
Johnson has also had a huge impact on the field for the Tennessee football program since entering the program his freshman year. He has received numerous football honors and recognition for his talents on defense. In 2014 Johnson had 106 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. He has 324 career tackles and 21.5 tackles for loss.
During his freshman year Johnson was named to the SEC All – Freshman Team and First – Team All – American by FWAA (Football Writers of America Association), The Sporting News, Fox Sports, Phil Steele, and Yahoo Sports. He was also Consensus Freshman All – American, and set a record at the Tennessee for racking up, five Freshman All – American honors that year.
In his sophomore year he received All – SEC Preseason Third Team by league coaches and All – SEC Preseason Second Team by league media. He was a member of the 2012 Preseason Butkus Watch List and made the Coaches All – SEC Second Team. Besides being named to last year’s Lott Impact Trophy Watch List, Johnson received several preseason awards his junior year. He was named to Phil Steele’s Preseason First Team All – SEC and Third Team All – American, Sporting News Preseason First Team All – SEC and Second Team All American, Athlon Sports Preseason Fourth Team All – American and First Team All – SEC, and Lindy’s Preseason No. Three Top Inside Linebacker, First Team All – SEC, and Second Team All – American.
He also was placed on the Media Preseason First Team All – SEC and SEC Coaches Preseason First Team All – SEC. He was put on watch lists for the Bednatik Award, Bronoko Naguriski Trophy, Butkus Award, and the Rotary Lombardi Award. For the season he earned the SEC Coaches First Team All – SEC, Associated Press named him to the SEC First Team, All – SEC First Team by Athlon Sports and Sporting News, and All – SEC Second Team via College Sports Madness. Now in his senior year, Johnson has various honors in the preseason. He has been put on the Preseason First Team ALL – SEC by Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports, Phil Steele’s College Football Review, Sporting News, and USA Today College Football Preview. He is on the Preseason First Team All – American by Lindy’s Sports and Phil Steele’s College Football Review. Athlon Sports placed him on Preseason Second Team All – American and Preseason Third Team All – American by Sporting News. Lindy’s Sports named him Top Inside Linebackers In America and Tennessee MVP and National Strength and Conditioning Association All – American.
With so many awards and honors Johnson is expected to achieve much greatness and stride to continue to shine in the community and the classroom.