Vols senior linebacker A.J. Johnson has been named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list for the second straight season.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) July 10, 2014
The Nagurski Trophy has been awarded each year since 1993 to the best defensive football player of the season, as decided by the Football Writers of America (FWAA).
No Tennessee player has ever won the award and only one SEC player has won the award (Glenn Dorsey of LSU in 2007).
Johnson, who passed up an opportunity to declare for the NFL Draft after his junior season, has led the Vols in tackles the past two seasons.
As a sophomore in 2012, Johnson finished fourth in the NCAA in total tackles (138).
Johnson is one of the more underrated players in college football. While there are certainly facets of his game that need some work, he’s constantly in the mix on the defensive side of the ball.
If there’s a big play, chances are he’s in the middle of it.
Johnson will look to the have the best season of his career in 2014, while trying to lead the Volunteers to their first bowl game appearance since 2010.