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Texas Legend Makes Hall of Fame

Sports

Texas Longhorns linebacker Derrick Johnson | Image by Sports Illustrated

Legendary Texas Longhorns linebacker Derrick Johnson has been selected for enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame.

A Waco, Texas native, Johnson played 50 games for the Longhorns from 2001 through 2004. During that time, Texas won at least 10 games each season, and Johnson earned multiple national awards.

He finished his collegiate career with the third-most tackles (458) and most tackles for loss (65) in team history and also had the most pass breakups (30) of any linebacker.

In 2004, Johnson was named the winner of the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year, the Butkus Award (top linebacker in the nation), and the Bednarik Award (best defensive player in the country). He was selected 15th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft.

He went on to play 14 NFL seasons — 13 with the Chiefs and one with the Raiders — becoming a staple in the middle of the Kansas City defense and earning four Pro Bowl nods and one first-team All-Pro selection.

Johnson has also been inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Texas Hall of Honor, the Waco ISD Hall of Fame, and the state of Missouri Hall of Fame.

“I’m truly overwhelmed, humbled and so grateful to be selected for the College Football Hall of Fame,” Johnson said in a statement. “From the time I came to Texas, I remember the displays in our football building of the Hall of Famers, and now being a part of that special group is an absolute dream come true.

“I was fortunate to have so many great teammates and coaches during my career, and without them, none of this would be possible,” he added. “This great honor is because of them and my family, who have supported me through thick and thin. They all have a piece of this, and I’m beyond grateful for everyone that made it happen.”

Overall, the National Football Foundation has announced 18 players and four coaches as part of the 2023 Hall of Fame class.

Notable players include former Heisman Trophy-winning Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, former USC running back Reggie Bush, former Syracuse University star Dwight Freeney, former Boston College standout linebacker Luke Kuechly, former Villanova star running back Brian Westbrook, and former University of Tennessee star safety Eric Berry.

DeAngelo Williams (Memphis), LaMichael James (Oregon), Robert Gallery (Iowa), Bill Kollar (Montana State), Michael Bishop (Kansas State), Corey Moore (Virginia Tech), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Terrance Mathis (New Mexico), Michael Stonebreaker (Notre Dame), Bryant McKinnie (Miami), and current NFL Players’ Association vice president Troy Vincent (Wisconsin) round out the player portion of the class.

Johnson (Waco), James (Texarkana), and Bishop (Willis) give this class three members from the state of Texas.

The four coaches to make the cut are former Georgia and Miami head coach Mark Richt, former Central Michigan coach and former Southeastern Conference commissioner Roy Kramer, former Shepherd University head coach Monte Cater, and former Georgia Tech, Navy, and Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson.

Derrick Johnson and his fellow inductees will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 5, 2023.

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