Earlier today, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Fox Sports reported that Tennessee running backs coach David Johnson is expected to join Mike Novell’s staff at Florida State. But the Vols aren’t letting him go without a fight.
According to Austin Price of Volquest.com, Tennessee has countered FSU’s offer, and Johnson has not made a decision yet as to where he’ll be coaching next season.
JUST IN: Vols RB coach David Johnson @CoachYACJohnson has an offer from Florida State and a NEW offer from Tennessee.
Just spoke to him where he told me, “He is currently mulling over the decision with his family. No decision has been made yet.”
— Austin Price (@AustinPriceless) January 3, 2020
Per the USA Today Sports salary database, Johnson is currently making $505,000 annually at Tennessee as the Vols’ running backs coach.
Johnson worked for new Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell at Memphis from 2016-17 where Johnson 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. If Johnson does leave UT’s staff, Tennessee’s recruiting board might change slightly here in the 2020 cycle and in the 2021 cycle.
We will update as more information becomes available.