2015 NFL DRAFT

A.J. Johnson, ILB

School: Tennessee  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Gainesville, GA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 242 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
9994-
Player News
05/22/2014 - 2014 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee...Johnson returned to Tennessee for his senior season after another stellar campaign as a junior. A 2013 AP and Coaches All-SEC first-team selection, Johnson became the first Vol to record 100 tackles in back to back seasons since Earnest Fields did so in 1990-91 finishing his 2013 campaign with 106. Johnson also notched 8.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards, tying a career high, while also recovering a fumble and breaking up three passes. Johnson notched five double-digit tackling efforts in 2013, bringing his career total to 18. He currently sits in third place on the UT career assisted tackles list with 164. The Gainesville, Ga., native enters his final season on Rocky Top with 324 career tackles in 36 career games. - Tennessee football

02/12/2014 - Tennessee players cited at party...Two current Tennessee players were arrested and seven others were cited for alcohol-related offenses at a party over the weekend, the Associated Press reported. Linebacker A.J. Johnson was arrested for purchasing alcohol for a person underage and resisting arrest, and defensive tackle Danny O'Brien was arrested for criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and underage consumption of alcohol. Other current Vols players cited for providing alcohol to underage people were linebackers Jakob Johnson, Curt Maggitt and Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Cited for underage consumption were offensive lineman Dontavius Blair, defensive lineman Malik Brown, cornerback Justin Coleman and defensive end Dimarya Mixon.

The police report stated that Johnson and former Vols player Dontavis Sapp provided marijuana to underaged individuals at the party. No one was arrested on andrug charge. Johnson, who led the Vols in tackles last season, and Coleman, who started all 12 games he played last season, were the only 2013 starters in the group. In a statement, head coach Butch Jones said, "[W]e are aware of the situation and are still in the preliminary stages of gathering all facts and information." It has yet to be determined what, if any, punishment the players will face. - The Sports Xchange

02/09/2014 - Two Vols arrested on alcohol-related charges...Two Tennessee players were arrested this weekend on alcohol-related charges and resisting arrest. According to the Associated Press, linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive lineman Danny O'Brien were both arrested and taken into custody late Saturday. Johnson was charged with purchasing alcohol for a person underage and resisting arrest, while O'Brien was charged with criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and underage consumption of alcohol. "We are aware of the situation and are still in the preliminary stages of gathering all facts and information," said Butch Jones in a statement. "We have very high standards and expectations within our football program at the University of Tennessee, and appropriate action will be taken." Former Tennessee linebacker Dontavius Sapp, who just finished his senior season, was also arrested. Johnson, who is 22, led Tennessee with 106 tackles last season and was first team All-SEC. O'Brien had 12 tackles as a reserve in 2013. O'Brien is 20 years old. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com

01/07/2014 - Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is returning to school for his senior season rather than entering the NFL draft. Volunteers coach Butch Jones announced through his Twitter account Tuesday that he's "very excited to announce" Johnson would be a part of next year's team. Johnson earned first-team all-Southeastern Conference honors this season and made 106 tackles to lead his team for a second straight year. He ranked third in the SEC with 8.8 tackles per game. Johnson has started each of the last three seasons and has 324 career tackles. He made 138 tackles in the 2012 season and ranked fourth among all Football Bowl Subdivision players with 11.5 tackles per game. Johnson is the only full-time starter from Tennessee's 2013 front seven on defense who will be back next season. - AP Sports

12/11/2013 - 2013 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM: LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee, 6-2, 243, Jr,...Johnson became the first Vol to record 100 tackles in back to back seasons since Earnest Fields did so in 1990-91 finishing his 2013 campaign with 106. Johnson also notched 8.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards, tying a career high, while also recovering a fumble and breaking up three passes. Johnson notched five double-digit tackling efforts in 2013, bringing his career total to 18. He currently sits in third place on the UT career assisted tackles list with 164. - Tennessee football

12/11/2013 - 2013 ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee...Gainesville, Ga. native Johnson became the first Vol to record 100 tackles in back to back seasons since Earnest Fields did so in 1990-91 finishing his 2013 campaign with 106. Johnson also notched 8.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards, tying a career high, while also recovering a fumble and breaking up three passes. Johnson notched five double-digit tackling efforts in 2013, bringing his career total to 18. He currently sits in third place on the UT career assisted tackles list with 164. - Tennessee football

09/23/2013 - Despite sloppy play, easy to see NFL talent in SEC showdown...LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee - A player who is consistently around the ball, Johnson led the SEC in tackles a year ago and is on pace to be one of the conference leaders again in 2013. He finished the Florida/Tennessee match-up with 10 tackles, his 14th career double-digit tackle performance at the college level. Johnson has only average range and isn't a special athlete, but he plays hard and fast on every snap, impressing with his high-effort mentality. He has strong hands and is a violent tackler who looks to strike through his target and leave his mark, something that was obvious on several occasions in this contest. While he isn't that elite-type of prospect, he is a physical, hard-nosed linebacker who leaves it all on the field. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

09/13/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: LB A.J. Johnson made eight total tackles against Western Kentucky, including five assists, and now is ninth on Tennessee's career assist tackles with 124. - The Sports Xchange

08/29/2013 - TOP TENNESSEE PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 4. ILB A.J. Johnson (6-2, 240, 4.73)*...Under Fulmer, the Volunteers were famous for turning highly regarded prep running backs into quality linebackers. Johnson's speed and physicality is such, however, that Dooley and his staff did the opposite, moving their star inside linebacker to the offensive side of the ball in key situations. Despite only logging 12 rushing attempts, Johnson led the Vols with six rushing touchdowns in 2012.

Johnson's red zone proficiency speaks to his versatility but the reason he'll be the highest selected linebacker from Tennessee since the New England Patriots made Jerod Mayo the 10th overall pick of the 2008 draft is his ability to stop opponents from scoring. Johnson emerged as a standout for the Vols almost immediately, logging 10 starts as a true freshman and finishing second on the team with 80 tackles, better than any other first-year SEC player in 2011. Starting all 12 games last year, Johnson led the SEC with 138 tackles (fourth-most in the NCAA) and led the team with 8.5 tackles for loss, as well. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/29/2013 - TOP TENNESSEE PROSPECTS FOR THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: 4. ILB A.J. Johnson (6-2, 240, 4.73)*...Despite his impressive statistics, Johnson is very much a work in progress. He is quick to attack the line of scrimmage but struggles disengaging from blocks, dropping his head on contact and too often winding up on the turf. The change to the 4-3 should protect him blockers and cater to Johnson's athleticism, potentially resulting in even more impressive statistics for the talented linebacker. A better athlete than football player at this stage of his career, Johnson must improve in the finer aspects of his position to earn the draft-day grade that his talent and production would seem to warrant. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/28/2013 - PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2013: LB A.J. Johnson had one of the most prolific seasons by any Tennessee player in the modern era. The bigger question might be whether Johnson will continue to touch the ball on offense? He was a fairly regular option as a short-yardage runner in a variation of Jim Chaney's Wildcat scheme dubbed the Beast package. - The Sports Xchange

08/27/2013 - LB A.J. Johnson was the Vols' lone representative on the first unit of the preseason All-SEC squad. Johnson led the SEC last season in tackles, averaging 11.5 per game, and ranked fourth nationally among all FBS defenders. The strength and experience on Tennessee's offensive line also was represented on the all-SEC team. Offensive tackles Antonio Richardson and Ja'Wuan James made the second team, with fellow O-linemen Zach Fulton and James Stone on the third unit. DT Dan McCullers also made the third unit. - The Sports Xchange

08/26/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee,...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts.

A leader in the middle linebacker role, Johnson also had team-high 8.5 TFLs for 25 yards along with his first-career sack and eight quarterback hurries. He posted the most tackles by a Vol since Jerod Mayo made 140 in 2007 while his 75 assisted tackles are the third-most in a season at UT. Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. - Tennessee football

07/25/2013 - 2013 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (107)...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts.

A leader in the middle linebacker role, Johnson also had team-high 8.5 TFLs for 25 yards along with his first-career sack and eight quarterback hurries. He posted the most tackles by a Vol since Jerod Mayo made 140 in 2007 while his 75 assisted tackles are the third-most in a season at UT. Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. - Tennessee football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BUTKUS AWARD WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts. Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. - Tennessee football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee, LB...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts. Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. - Tennessee football

07/17/2013 - 2013 BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts. A leader in the middle linebacker role, Johnson also had team-high 8.5 TFLs for 25 yards along with his first-career sack and eight quarterback hurries. He posted the most tackles by a Vol since Jerod Mayo made 140 in 2007 while his 75 assisted tackles are the third-most in a season at UT. Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. - Tennessee football

07/17/2013 - 2013 LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST: LB AJ Johnson, Tennessee...Johnson, a 2012 All-SEC linebacker, finished the season fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts. Johnson averaged 12.9 tackles over the last 10 games of the season with at least 11 tackles in each game. - Tennessee football

 
 
Player News
05/22/2014 - 2014 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee...Johnson returned to Tennessee for his senior season after another stellar campaign as a junior. A 2013 AP and Coaches All-SEC first-team selection, Johnson became the first Vol to record 100 tackles in back to back seasons since Earnest Fields did so in 1990-91 finishing his 2013 campaign with 106. Johnson also notched 8.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards, tying a career high, while also recovering a fumble and breaking up three passes. Johnson notched five double-digit tackling efforts in 2013, bringing his career total to 18. He currently sits in third place on the UT career assisted tackles list with 164. The Gainesville, Ga., native enters his final season on Rocky Top with 324 career tackles in 36 career games. - Tennessee football
 

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