Report: David Johnson Headed to Florida State

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    Just hours after the Vols put a cap on an improbable season, they could be losing a coach who was instrumental in that success.

    Tennessee running backs coach David Johnson is expected to join the Florida State coaching staff according to a report from national college football writer Bruce Feldman who works for The Athletic and Fox Sports.

    Johnson worked for new Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell at Memphis from 2016-17 where he served as the Tigers’ wide receivers coach. While at Memphis, Johnson helped develop Anthony Miller from a walk-on to an All-American and the No. 51 overall pick by the Chicago Bears.

    Jeremy Pruitt hired Johnson to his coaching staff upon arriving at Tennessee prior to the 2018 season. Johnson served as the Vols’ wide receiver coach in 2018 before becoming the running backs coach in 2019 after Pruitt hired Tee Martin as wide receivers coach.

    Johnson’s running backs rushed for 1,622 yards and eight touchdowns this season. They averaged 4.7 yards per carry as a group. Junior Ty Chandler led the group with 655 rushing yards, while freshman Eric Gray burst on to the scene with 539 yards. Tim Jordan rushed for 428 yards.

    Prior to his time at Memphis, Johnson tallied 20 years of experience as a high school and college coach in Louisiana and Mississippi.

    Johnson was pivotal to Tennessee’s success on the recruiting trail in the early signing period for the 2020 class. Johnson helped UT land several prospects from Memphis, and his ties to Louisiana have the Vols in contention for a few more prospects as well. With Johnson now reportedly gone, Tennessee’s recruiting board might change slightly here in the 2020 cycle and in the 2021 cycle.

    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.