2015 NFL DRAFT

A.J. Johnson, ILB

School: Tennessee  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Gainesville, GA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 242 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
73637-
Player News
05/06/2015 - Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is seeking a separate trial from suspended Volunteers cornerback Michael Williams as both men face aggravated rape charges. Lawyers representing Johnson filed a motion Friday asking to sever the trials of the two defendants. The motion says Williams "made out of court statements referencing Mr. Johnson" and indicates the statements shouldn't be admissible against Johnson. Johnson's attorney, Tom Dillard, said in a statement that "it is not out of the ordinary in criminal cases to seek separate trials when multiple persons are charged, given the rules of evidence and constitutional issues involved." Johnson and Williams were indicted in February after being named as suspects in a rape investigation and suspended from the team in November. Johnson has graduated and completed his eligibility. - AP Sports

03/09/2015 - Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and suspended Tennessee defensive back Michael Williams have pleaded not guilty to aggravated rape charges. Johnson and Williams were arraigned Monday after being indicted last month by a grand jury. Trial was set for Aug. 24. Johnson and Williams were suspended from Tennessee's football team in November, one day before Knoxville police named both as subjects of a rape investigation. Johnson has since graduated and completed his eligibility. Lawyers for both players have said their clients are innocent of the charges.

"What I've said before, I'll say again," said David Eldridge, the lawyer representing Williams. "He's innocent of the charges and we will defend them in court." Tom Dillard, the lawyer representing Johnson, declined comment Monday aside from pointing out that his client had pleaded not guilty. When Johnson turned himself in last month, Dillard issued a statement saying Johnson "has fully cooperated throughout this investigation, has maintained his innocence from the beginning, and looks forward to being cleared of these accusations so that he can begin to put his life back together." Johnson and Williams are charged with raping a woman at a Knoxville apartment in November. The Associated Press does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual abuse. - AP Sports

03/08/2015 - Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and ex-teammate Michael Williams will appear in Knox County Criminal Court on Monday where both are expected to enter not guilty pleas in connection with a sexual assault on a UT student last November. Attorneys for each of the men have maintained that the two fully cooperated with the investigation, and did nothing wrong. The attorneys have said their clients are looking forward to putting their lives back together. During Monday's arraignment, Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bobby McGee will formally read the charges against the men, and then let them enter a guilty or not guilty plea. The arraignment isn't expected to take long.

Johnson, 23, and Williams, 21, turned themselves over to authorities last month after a grand jury indicted them each on two counts of aggravated rape. Johnson graduated from the university in December and was an NFL draft hopeful. He lost his invitation to the NFL combine after his indictment became public. Williams is enrolled at the university for the spring semester, but remains suspended indefinitely from the football team. - WBIR-TV

02/17/2015 - Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson has turned himself in on a charge of aggravated rape. The Knox County Sheriff's Office issued a release saying Johnson had turned himself in Tuesday and was released on $40,000 bond. Suspended Tennessee defensive back Michael Williams also is charged with aggravated rape. Knoxville police had named both Johnson and Williams in November as subjects of a rape investigation. A grand jury heard the case last week. David Eldridge, the lawyer representing Williams, said Thursday his client was indicted and also had been released on $40,000 bond. "Mr. Johnson has fully cooperated throughout this investigation, has maintained his innocence from the beginning, and looks forward to being cleared of these accusations so that he can begin to put his life back together," said Tom Dillard, the lawyer representing Johnson.

Eldridge had issued a statement Thursday saying Williams was "innocent of these charges" and "is confident that when all the evidence is presented there, he will be exonerated." Johnson had been on the list of players invited to this week's NFL Scouting Combine. The NFL announced it had withdrawn that invitation Friday, one day after the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that Johnson was being indicted. The police report released in November said that Knoxville police investigator Tim Riddle spoke to two 19-year-old women on Nov. 16 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at about 4:30 a.m. One woman said Johnson and Williams raped her at the apartment complex. A second woman said she was sexually assaulted by Williams at the same location. - AP Sports

02/17/2015 - Former Vols LB Johnson arrested on rape charge...Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson was booked on an aggravated rape charge after turning himself in on Tuesday. According to the Knox County (Tenn.) Sheriff's Office, Johnson was released on $40,000 bond about 30 minutes after he arrived at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility in Knoxville, Tenn. Johnson, 23, and Tennessee cornerback Michael Williams, 21, were listed as suspects by authorities in a Nov. 16 alleged rape of a 19-year-old female student-athlete in Johnson's apartment after a game. Williams also is a suspect in a sexual assault of a second woman who has chosen not to pursue the case.

Williams was indicted Thursday on two charges of aggravated rape and also named as aiding and abetting in two counts of aggravated rape. He was released on $40,000 bond last Thursday. The two players, who were suspended from the team in December, say they are innocent. Johnson graduated in December and was to participate in the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, but the league withdrew the invitation after the charges came to light. Johnson was a four-year starter for the Vols and finished his career with 425 tackles, the second-highest total at the school since 1970. - The Sports Xchange

02/16/2015 - NFL pulls A.J. Johnson's combine invite...The NFL has rescinded an invitation to former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson to attend next week's scouting combine after Johnson was indicted on rape charges. The Tennessean first reported the revocation on Friday, and the NFL confirmed it. Johnson, accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in November, was indicted on two counts of rape Thursday by a grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn. Johnson, Tennessee's leading tackler in 2014, was suspended by coach Butch Jones after Johnson and former teammate Michael Williams were accused of the sexual assault. Williams also was indicted Thursday. The combine begins Tuesday in Indianapolis and runs through Feb. 23. Johnson is the No. 16-rated inside linebacker in this year's class by NFLDraftScout.com. He is projected as a seventh-round pick or priority free agent. - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange

02/13/2015 - NFL withdraws A.J. Johnson's combine invite after rape indictment...The NFL has withdrawn the invitation for former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson to attend the scouting combine next week, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean on Friday. Johnson, along with former Vols defensive back Michael Williams, was indicted on rape charges after a review of the allegations and the Knoxville Police Department investigation by a Knox County grand jury Thursday. He was suspended from the team in November after the alleged off-campus incident, and never returned to field.

Johnson was the Vols' leading tackler at the time. He was invited for the combine after graduating in December. Williams already turned himself in and was released on bond. Johnson is making plans to surrender to authorities, according to his attorney. The combine starts Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium. It remains to be seen if Johnson will work out for teams leading up to April's draft. - Igor Mello, CBSSports.com

02/12/2015 - Former Tennessee LB A.J. Johnson, DB Williams indicted in rape case...Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive back Michael Wiliams have been indicted for rape after a review of the allegations and the Knoxville Police Department investigation by a Knox County grand jury. Johnson's attorney, Tom Dillard, confirmed the news to the Knoxville News-Sentinel and said Johnson was making plans for the linebacker's surrender. Williams has already turned himself in and was released on a bond, according to his attorney. "I will confirm that I received a notification (from the Knox County District Attorney General's office) that a presentment had been returned against him alleging rape," Williams' attorney, David Eldridge, told the News-Sentinel. "Mr. Williams turned himself in to the Knox County jail and was released on a $40,000 bond."

Johnson and Williams were suspended from the Tennessee football team in November after a 19-year old Tennessee student reportedly told police that the two men raped her in an off-campus apartment after the Vols win against Kentucky. Neither player returned to the football field, but Johnson, an All-SEC selection, did receive an invite to the NFL Combine after graduating from UT in December. Per the News-Sentinel, Williams is enrolled at Tennessee for the spring semester. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com

02/10/2015 - The rape allegations involving former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive back Michael Williams will go before a grand jury. Knox County Deputy District Attorney General Kyle Hixson said Tuesday that his office had completed its review of the police investigation and that "the citizens on the grand jury will decide whether Johnson and Williams will be criminally charged for the accusations against them."

Hixson's statement was first reported by the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Attorneys Tom Dillard and David Eldridge told the newspaper their clients are innocent and they welcome the review. Dillard represents Johnson. Eldridge represents Williams. Knoxville police identified Johnson and Williams in November as subjects of a rape investigation, though neither has been arrested. Both were suspended from the team. Johnson has since graduated and completed his eligibility. - AP Sports

11/17/2014 - Two Volunteers suspended amid rape probe...Two University of Tennessee football players have been suspended from the team amid allegations of a sexual assault. A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams have been suspended, according to the school. On Monday, Knoxville police confirmed they are investigating reports of rape and sexual assault by two Tennessee students involving two female victims in off-campus housing. Football coach Butch Jones declined to identify the two players at a noon press briefing, but The Tennessean has identified the suspects as Johnson, a senior linebacker, and Williams, a sophomore defensive back.

The two players were suspended Monday afternoon, according to the school's Twitter account. The Tennessean said the incidents allegedly occurred about 3 a.m. Sunday. One 19-year-old victim -- a current Tennessee student -- told police she was raped by two male students. Another 19-year-old female -- a student visiting from an out-of-state college -- told police she was a victim of sexual assault. It's unknown if the incidents are related. Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk told the Tennessean that he doesn't anticipate charges being brought by the end of the day Monday, but added that "Every investigation moves at its own pace. - The Sports Xchange

08/09/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (186)...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

08/06/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON BUTKUS AWARD WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee...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

08/06/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, LB, Sr. - Tennessee...Johnson 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

08/05/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee...As a senior, Johnson has already been named to the preseason watch lists for the Lott IMPACT Award and CFPA Linebacker of the Year Award. He is a consensus preseason All-American, earning recognition as a first and second teamer from various outlets. 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

08/05/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY AWARD WATCH LIST: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee, LB...As a senior, Johnson has already been named to the preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award Watch List, Lott IMPACT Award and CFPA Linebacker of the Year Award. He is a consensus preseason All-American, earning recognition as a first and second teamer from various outlets. 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. - Tennessee football

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

 
Player News
05/06/2015 - Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is seeking a separate trial from suspended Volunteers cornerback Michael Williams as both men face aggravated rape charges. Lawyers representing Johnson filed a motion Friday asking to sever the trials of the two defendants. The motion says Williams "made out of court statements referencing Mr. Johnson" and indicates the statements shouldn't be admissible against Johnson. Johnson's attorney, Tom Dillard, said in a statement that "it is not out of the ordinary in criminal cases to seek separate trials when multiple persons are charged, given the rules of evidence and constitutional issues involved." Johnson and Williams were indicted in February after being named as suspects in a rape investigation and suspended from the team in November. Johnson has graduated and completed his eligibility. - AP Sports
 

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