AUSTIN (KXAN) — One of the best defensive players in Texas Longhorns football history got the call all players wait for following a successful career.
Linebacker Derrick Johnson is one of 18 players part of the College Football Hall of Fame class this year, becoming the 22nd Texas player enshrined in the elite group. The ceremony honoring all the inductees will be Dec. 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of the National Football Foundation’s awards dinner.
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Johnson was a two-time consensus All-American and led the Longhorns to a 43-8 record from 2001-04. He won both the Dick Butkus and Bronko Nagurski awards in 2004 and received votes for the Heisman Trophy that season. He was the Big 12 Athlete of the Year and led the Longhorns to a 38-37 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
For his career, Johnson notched 458 tackles with a program-record 65 for a loss. He had 10.5 sacks, nine interceptions, 30 pass breakups, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. In 2004, he set an NCAA record with nine forced fumbles.
Johnson, a Waco native, went on to play 13 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs after being their first-round draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He became the franchise leader in tackles with 1,262 and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.
“I’m truly overwhelmed, humbled and so grateful to be selected for the College Football Hall of Fame,” Johnson said in a press release by Texas Athletics. “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.”
Johnson and his family live in Austin, and he’s the director of the Defend the Dream Foundation, which he founded and helps provide opportunities and resources to inner-city and low-income youth.
Johnson is in the same hall of fame class as Southern California’s Reggis Bush, Florida’s Tim Tebow, Syracuse’s Dwight Freeney, Oregon’s LaMichael James and Kansas State’s Michael Bishop among others.