“Really, I thought he should have turned pro last year,” Richt said with a smile at his weekly press conference Tuesday. “I don’t know why he came back, but he’s back and doing a great job.”
Johnson, who is from Gainesville, considered leaving Tennessee for the NFL draft after last season but opted to return for his senior year. A first-team All-SEC selection last year, Johnson is averaging 9.7 tackles per game this season, second most in the SEC. He is in his fourth year as a starter for the Vols.