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A.J. Johnson, ILB

School: Tennessee  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Gainesville, GA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 242 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
Career Notes
Member of 2012 Preseason Butkus Watch List...2012 All-SEC Preseason Second Team by league media...2012 All-SEC Preseason Third Team by league coaches...CFPA Hon. Mention Linebacker of the Week (Oct. 14, 2012)...2011 Consensus Freshman All-American...2011 First-Team Freshman All-American by Football Writers of America, The Sporting News, Fox Sports, Phil Steele, Yahoo! Sports...2011 five Freshman All-American honors set Tennessee record, breaking mark of four by Eric Berry in 2009...2011 SEC All-Freshman Team selection...SEC Freshman of the Week (10/22 Alabama).
2012 Season
Games/Starts: 12/12...Second season as starting middle linebacker...Led SEC and UT with 138 tackles (fourth-most in NCAA) in 12 starts in 2012, also had team-high 8.5 TFLs for 25 yards, first-career sack and eight quarterback hurries...Posted most tackles by a Vol since Jerod Mayo made 140 in 2007... Fourth in NCAA, first SEC in tackles per game (11.5)...With 21 tackles at Miss State, had most stops by a Vol in 48 years, since Keith DeLong had 23 vs. Alabama in 1988... Rushed 12 times for 21 yards with team-high six touchdowns out of `The Beast' a Wildcat QB formation...Averaging 12.9 tackles per game over last 10 games with 129 in those 10 games including double-figure tackles in each game (at least 11 in each).Closed year with 14 tackles including first-career sack (for 10 yards), two TFLs and his sixth rushing touchdown of the season vs. Kentucky (11/24)...12 tackles including two TFLs at Vanderbilt (11/17)...Notched 11 tackles vs. Missouri (11/10)...Surpassed 100 tackles for the season in ninth game with 13 vs. Troy (11/3)...Sixth game in a row with double-figure tackles, piling up 11 stops at #17 South Carolina (10/27)...Racked up 14 tackles vs. #1 Alabama (10/20), has 27 career tackles vs. the Crimson Tide in two games...Had 11 tackles in each of three games in a row (9/15-29)...Career-high 21 tackles, most by a Vol since 1988, at #19 Mississippi State (10/13), had 1.5 TFLs...For third game in a row had 11 tackles and a rushing touchdown, at #5 Georgia (9/29) in homecoming, also recovered a fumble and had a TFL...Racked up 11 stops and rushed for a TD for the second game in a row vs. Akron (9/22)...As a Wildcat QB (which he played in HS) rushed twice vs. Florida (9/15) and scored first-career touchdown on a 1-yard rush; also racked up 11 tackles and a 6-yard TFL...It was fitting that Johnny Majors, who played multiple positions, had his jersey No. 45 retired vs. Florida...Racked up five tackles vs. Georgia State (9/8)...Opened 2012 with four tackles vs. NC State (8/31).
2011 Season
Games/Starts: 12/10...Led all SEC freshmen in tackles with 80, finishing second for UT....One of four true freshmen to rank among top two on his team in tackles among all D-I FBS schools...At least shared Vols' lead in tackles on four occasions...Prior to Vanderbilt game, was only freshman to be leading his team in tackles in FBS...With 80 tackles, had second-most stops by a true freshman in a season in UT history behind only Eric Berry, who had 86 in 2007... Only true freshman in UT history to have three double-figure tackle games in a season (E.Berry had two in 2007) with 10-plus in three games in a row (10/15-29)...Played in all 12 games in 2011 in true freshman season, starting 10 times.Recorded 4.5 TFLs, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, the only Vol with multiple FRs...Finished year with nine tackles including TFL at Kentucky (11/26)...Four tackles in win over Vanderbilt (11/19)...Five stops vs. MTSU (11/5) and at #8 Arkansas (11/12)...Had 36 tackles in a three game span (12.0 per game) against #1 LSU, #2 Alabama, and #14 South Carolina...Piled up 12 tackles and recovered a fumble vs. #14 South Carolina (10/29)...Racked up career-high 13 tackles at #2 Alabama (10/22), second-most tackles by a true freshman in a game in UT history (record Eric Berry, vs. Kentucky in 2007) to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors...11 tackles against #1 LSU (10/15), first double-figure tackle total by a freshman since Eric Berry in 2007...Racked up four tackles vs. Georgia (10/8)... Second on team with six tackles and a TFL vs. Buffalo (10/1)... Tied for team lead in tackles with seven at #16 Florida (9/17), also forced a fumble and recovered it... Three tackles and 0.5 TFL in start in first college game vs.Montana (9/3). One of 12 true freshmen to play in opener...Along with Curt Maggitt, believed to be first true freshman to start at LB for UT.
High School
Rivals: 4-star (No. 136 overall prospect nationally, No. 8 overall inside linebacker, No. 12 overall prospect in Georgia)... Scout: 4-star (No. 16 overall middle linebacker)... ESPN: 4-star (No. 118 overall prospect nationally, No. 5 overall inside linebacker)... Georgia's Class AAA Defensive Player of the Year... Named First Team Class AAA All-State following three consecutive seasons (2008-10)... Member of Under Armour All-America Team... Named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 team as a senior in 2010... Selected to ESPNU 150 and Rivals250 teams... The Gainesville Times 2010 Football Player of the Year... Named to Mobile Press-Register's Southeast 120 and ranked 77th.Posted 173 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles, seven pass breakups, six sacks and two interceptions in senior campaign... As a junior in 2009, tallied 131 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, eight sacks, six pass breakups, four forced fumbles and an INT...As a sophomore in 2008, tallied 160 tackles, nine tackles-for-loss and four sacks ... Helped lead team to state championship game as a junior... Also helped team to three straight region titles...Gainesville went 24-3 over final two seasons...Coach at Gainesville High School: Bruce Miller.
Full Name: Alexander James Johnson...Born: December 24, 1991...Son of Vivian Drake...Majoring in Communications.
Player News
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 Shop

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