September 17, 2010

Johnson re-unites with Vols

The recruitment of Gainesville, Ga. linebacker A.J. Johnson has come full circle. After committing to the previous Tennessee staff last fall, Johnson backed off that pledge once the Vols underwent an offseason coaching change. Several months of getting to know Derek Dooley and the new Tennessee staff has the beast of an athlete is once again calling Rocky Top home.
"It feels good," Johnson said about his decision. "It's just a release because I knew it was the place I needed to be. I fell in love with the place the first time I went there. Coach (Derek) Dooley and (Chuck) Smith played a big part."

It also didn't hurt Tennessee's chances with Johnson that the lone holdover on the Vols' staff was his future position coach, linebackers' coach Lance Thompson. That's the one relationship that remained intact through an offseason of nearly complete turnover on the Vols' staff. Something Johnson acknowledged as a key factor in Tennessee being able to stay in the picture through so much change.

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