|46 A.J. Johnson|
Looking to successfully bounce back from a left knee injury that sidelined him for the second half of the 2009 campaign as well as the entire 2010 spring session ... Did not make the post-spring depth chart as a result of the injury, but is expected to work into the fold if full rehabilitation is realized ... Upon return, will provide a veteran presence to a young defensive line ... Could also make an impact as a member of the Pirates' special teams units ... Originally signed as a linebacker but work in Coach Mike Golden's strength program has created the position switch to the line.
2009: Played in the season's first seven games, recording five tackles, before going down with the knee injury ... Booked his only solo hit of the season in the opening game against Appalachian State ... Recorded a career-high two stops against Marshall and Rice ... Against the Owls, was credited with the first quarterback hurry of his career ... Was on the field against West Virginia, North Carolina, UCF and SMU without recording any statistics.
2008: Experienced action in two games in a reserve role on the Pirates' defensive line ... Played against Memphis and UTEP, both at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Was not credited with any defensive statistics ... Opened season on the unit's two-deep as a reserve at left defensive end.
2007: Played in seven games as a member of special teams unit and in a reserve role on the defensive line ... Recorded three tackles (all solo) ... Experienced action in contests vs. Houston, UCF, UTEP, N.C. State, UAB, Memphis and Tulane ... Credited with one tackle (solo) in collegiate debut against Cougars at Robertson Stadium ... Added second stop during home victory against Blazers before following with final tackle a week later against Tigers.
2006: Redshirted ... Member of scout team and developmental roster ... Recipient of program's Rick Bankston Memorial Award as the special teams scout player-of-the-year ... Officially signed with ECU in February, 2006.
High School: A four-year starter and three-time defensive MVP during his prep career at Southside High School ... Posted a combined total of 212 tackles and 19 sacks during his junior and senior seasons ... Credited with 102 stops, six quarterback drops and four forced fumbles from the defensive end/linebacking position as a senior ... Recorded 110 tackles and 13 sacks during junior year ... Elected to serve as the Eagles' team captain ... Picked up additional varsity letters in basketball and baseball ... An Honor Roll performer in the classroom ... High school is commonly referred to as Southside Comprehensive ... Coach was Eric Williams.
Personal: Full name is Anthony Tyrone Johnson ... Born October 13, 1987 at Atlanta, Ga. ... Prefers to go by his nickname of "A.J." ... Cousin Inky Johnson was a three-year letterwinner at cornerback for the Tennessee Vols program ... Earned a bachelor's degree in communications in May, 2010 and is currently pursuing a second undergraduate degree this fall ... Considers all sports a hobby but probably enjoys basketball most ... Lists former quarterback Jeff Blake as favorite all-time Pirate player ... Says John Madden is favorite sports announcer ... Credits mother as most influential person on career ... Cites family atmosphere as best part of ECU football.