Johnson enters the 2012 season as the SEC's active leader in all-purpose yards with 4,104, career kickoff return yards with 2,475 and total return yards with 2,475. His kickoff return yards total is an Arkansas record and ranks fifth all-time in the SEC, and his all-purpose yardage total ranks fourth in school history. He also holds the UA record with 102 career kickoff returns and is tied for fourth on the SEC's all-time career list with three kick returns for touchdowns. His career kickoff return average of 24.26 yards ranks fifth in school history. He has appeared in 38 games and made 10 starts, rushing 208 times for 1,279 yards and five touchdowns and catching 38 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns.
He played in all 12 games with four starts as the team's leading rusher with 757 yards and eight touchdowns on 137 carries as well as 25 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns and 17 kickoff returns for 309 yards. His 10 total touchdowns tied for 18th on Arkansas' single-season list. He averaged 102.17 all-purpose yards per game to rank ninth in the SEC, and his rushing touchdowns total tied for 11th in the conference. Johnson gained a career-high 161 rushing yards and one touchdown on a career-high 27 carries and added three catches for 19 yards and two kickoff returns vs. Ole Miss. He opened the season with five rushes for 38 yards and one touchdown and four kickoff returns for 96 yards in the 49-24 win vs. Jacksonville State. He rushed seven times for 50 yards and returned three kickoffs for 40 yards vs. ULM and the next week gained 13 yards on four carries and 22 yards on one kickoff return vs. No. 1 Alabama.
He accumulated 113 all-purpose yards, courtesy of 47 yards on six rushes and 66 yards on three kickoff returns, vs. Rutgers. The next week, he carried five times for 22 yards, caught one 12-yard pass and gained 56 yards on two kickoff returns at Texas A&M. He tied his career high with two rushing touchdowns as part of a 17-carry, 76-yard day and added four receptions for 15 yards in a 24-7 win at Auburn. He scored a career-high three total touchdowns, two on the ground on 82 yards and 12 rushes and one five-yard receiving score, in the 49-7 victory vs. Kentucky. Johnson followed his career game vs. Ole Miss with 22 carries for 109 yards, the first back-to-back 100-yard games of his career, and three catches for 43 yards, in a 19-15 win vs. Tulsa. He caught a career-high five passes for 17 yards and gained 41 yards on 11 carries at No. 12 South Carolina. He rushed 15 times for 88 yards and had a seven-yard touchdown reception as part of a three-catch game at Mississippi State. He tied his career high with five catches for 48 yards, rushed six times for 30 yards and added a 21-yard kickoff return in the season fi nale vs. No. 8 LSU.
Johnson appeared in 11 games with six starts and was named second-team All-SEC all-purpose player by the Associated Press after he ranked in the top 10 in the conference in all-purpose yards per game, kickoff return average and rushing yards per game. He finished the 2011 season with 106 rushes for 670 yards and three touchdowns, 24 receptions for 255 yards and two touchdowns and 18 kick returns for 461 yards and one touchdown. His average of 126.0 all-purpose yards per game ranked second in the SEC and 49th in the NCAA, while his average of 25.61 yards per kickoff return, the third-highest single-season average in Arkansas history, was third in the conference and 29th in the country and his 60.1 rushing yards per game were seventh in the SEC. His average of 6.32 yards per carry was the highest in the SEC among runners with at least 100 carries, fourth overall in the conference and the seventh-highest single-season rushing average in school history. He also ranked fourth in the conference with a 6.33 yards-per-carry average against SEC opponents. He accumulated 1,386 all-purpose yards, the 12th-highest single-season total in school history. He made his season debut in the 38-28 win vs. Troy after missing the first two games and rushed four times for 20 yards and returned two kickoffs for 54 yards. At No. 3 Alabama, he scored the first receiving touchdown of his career as part of a two-catch, 21-yard performance and returned five kickoffs for 105 yards. He totaled 198 all-purpose yards in the come-from-behind 42-38 victory vs. No. 14 Texas A&M as he rushed eight times for 54 yards, caught a career-high four passes for a career-high 69 yards and returned four kickoffs for 75 yards. He rushed 12 times for 42 yards and caught three passes for 49 yards and one touchdown in a 38-14 win vs. No. 15 Auburn. He was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week after he carried the ball 15 times for a career-high 160 yards and one touchdown and caught two passes for 14 yards in the 29-24 win at Ole Miss. He rushed nine times for 52 yards, caught one 26-yard pass and returned four kickoffs for 63 yards in the 31-28 victory at Vanderbilt. He was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week and to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll after returning two kickoffs for 130 yards, including a 98-yard touchdown, rushing 15 times for 86 yards and making four receptions for 36 yards in the 44-28 win vs. No. 10 South Carolina. His 252 all-purpose yards against the Gamecocks ranked as the eighth-highest single-game total in school history. The next week, he scored a career-high two rushing touchdowns, including a career-long 71 yarder, as part of an 11-carry, 97-yard performance and caught four passes for 43 yards in a 49-7 victory vs. Tennessee. He rushed 14 times for 98 yards and returned one kickoff for 34 yards in the 44-17 win vs. Mississippi State. At No. 1 LSU, he gained 31 yards on 10 rushes. He concluded his junior season with five rushes for 33 yards and two receptions for two yards as Arkansas defeated No. 11 Kansas State 29-16 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
He was named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List and appeared in two games for the Razorbacks before suffering a season-ending injury vs. ULM that led to a medical redshirt. Before being injured, he collected 83 rushing yards and one touchdown on nine carries and returned three kickoffs for 78 total yards. Johnson rushed three times for 60 yards and one touchdown and returned two kickoffs for a total of 50 yards with a long of 32 in Arkansas' season-opening 44-3 win vs. Tennessee Tech. His touchdown rush was the first of the season for the Razorbacks, marking the second straight season he scored the first touchdown for UA. In Arkansas' 31-7 win vs. ULM, he rushed six times for 23 yards and returned one kickoff for 28 yards before being injured.
He played in all 13 games with starts at No. 1 Florida and in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against East Carolina. He was 28th in the nation and ninth in the SEC with 25.78 yards per kickoff return, and 75th nationally and ninth in the league with 111.15 yards of total offense per game. He returned 40 kickoffs for a school-record 1,031 yards and the touchdown, and became the career leader with 1,936 kickoff return yards. He had 57 rushes for 342 yards. His season total of 1,445 all-purpose yards ranked 10th on UA's single-season list. He returned the season-opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown against Missouri State. His carries and yardage total ranked third on the team, and his 6.0 average was second among players with 10 or more attempts. He also had 10 receptions for 72 yards, ranking eighth on the team in catches. He was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week against Missouri State, when he had two kickoff returns for 115 yards, including the 91-yard touchdown, along with a 10-yard reception; and Auburn, when he had three kick returns for 145 yards with a long of 70. He had six carries for 16 yards, a five-yard reception and three returns for 63 yards against Georgia. He had three returns for 81 yards with a long of 52 at Alabama and three for 69 against Texas A&M. He had 14 carries for 107 yards, one reception for 15 yards and five returns for 124 yards at No. 1 Florida for 246 all-purpose yards. Johnson rushed for 15 yards on four carries and had five returns for 122 yards at Ole Miss. He had three returns for 68 yards against Eastern Michigan and four for 54 against South Carolina. Against Troy, he ran four times for 58 yards, had an 11-yard reception and returned two kicks for 53 yards. He rushed for a team-high 50 yards on 11 carries, had a six-yard catch and returned two kicks for 46 yards against Mississippi State. At LSU, he ran nine times for 78 yards, caught three passes for 17 and returned four kicks for 75 for 170 all-purpose yards. In the Liberty Bowl win over East Carolina, he ran four times for 21 yards, had two catches for eight and one return for 16.
Johnson was an SEC All-Freshman Team member who played in all 12 games and made starts against Western Illinois and LSU. He handled kickoff return duties and had 41 for 905 yards (22.1 per return) and a touchdown. His 905 kickoff return yards set a then-Arkansas school record and ranked as the seventh-highest career total in Razorback history. He had 150 kickoff return yards against Texas, marking the third-highest single-game effort ever by an Arkansas player. He also had a 96-yard touchdown return against Tulsa, which proved to be the game winner. The return was the 11th-longest in school history and tied for the seventh-longest by any player nationally against a top 25 school in 2008. Johnson finished the season as the second-leading rusher for the Razorbacks with 36 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown. He had a career game against LSU and was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for his effort. Against the Tigers, he had 230 all-purpose yards, including 18 carries for 127 yards and a 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
He finished his prep career with 56 touchdowns and more than 4,700 rushing yards for former Razorback assistant coach and Arkansas High School coach Bill Keopple. As a senior, he rushed for 1,529 yards and 20 touchdowns on 209 attempts in leading the Razorbacks to their second consecutive 6A state championship. He was the most valuable player in the state championship game as both a junior and a senior. As a senior, he had six catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He returned nine punts for 361 yards and four touchdowns. He returned three kickoffs for 79 yards. He was selected to the AP Super Team as an all-purpose player. During his junior season, he gained 1,500 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns in leading his squad to a state championship. As a sophomore, he scored 18 touchdowns on the ground on 150 carries and 1,734 rushing yards. He also posted four touchdowns and 200 yards as a receiver. He was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas team as both a junior and senior, and was named the 6A South's most outstanding back in his final prep campaign. He was ranked the No. 33 all-purpose back in the nation and the No. 10 overall recruit in the state of Arkansas by Rivals.com. He was ranked the No. 8 prospect in the HawgSports.com Natural 21 and No. 10 by Hawgs Illustrated for the state of Arkansas. He was rated the No. 114 running back in the nation by Scout.com. He was also recruited by Oklahoma State among others.
Born Feb. 24, 1990, he is the son of Dennis Johnson and Rosalind Reems. He is majoring in criminal justice.
- ROB RANG'S 2013 NFL DRAFT DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: Dennis Johnson, Arkansas, 5-7, 196, 4.49* ... I can appreciate the fact that former Arkansas running back Knile Davis is the more impressive athlete in comparison to Johnson, but anyone who watched much of the Razorbacks over their respective careers will likely recognize the value the short (not small) running back/receiver/returner extraordinaire held with the team. Johnson left the SEC having led the conference with 5,330 all-purpose yards (2,036 rushing, 510 receiving, 2,784 as a kick-returner) in 50 games. In one of the more shocking snubs in recent combine history, he wasn't invited to Indianapolis but did prove his athleticism during an impressive Pro Day workout.
Five Other Running Backs to Consider: 1. Ray Holley, Louisiana Tech, 5-8, 194, 4.57* ... 2. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers, 5-8, 203, 4.62 ... 3. Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook, 5-9, 209, 4.64 ... 4. Robbie Rouse, Fresno State, 5-7, 190, 4.75 ...5. Kerywn Williams, Utah State, 5-8, 195, 4.44 - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
Full Dennis Johnson News Wire