Tennessee transfer wide receiver Brandon Johnson announced on Wednesday afternoon that he was transferring to UCF. Johnson entered the NCAA transfer portal on Dec. 14, the Monday before UT’s final game of the season against Texas A&M.
“As my time at the University of Tennessee comes to an end, I would like to thank Coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff for allowing me the opportunity to compete in the SEC and the many life lessons that they have shared,” Johnson said at the time. “I would also like to thank Coach Butch Jones and his staff for initially giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and be a part of such a great University.
“As a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I would be remiss if I did not show my appreciation to my academic advisors, professors, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers and of the support staff for all their efforts and investments in my success. In addition, I would like to thank the wonderful fans of UT. You all have my time here very special and have given me memories I will never forget.
“In pursuance of my athletic goals, I will enter the transfer portal and look to continue my college career elsewhere.
“I am a Volunteer for life and will always love the University of Tennessee.”
Johnson’s playing career on Rocky Top has had plenty of twists and turns through his five years. He played in nine games as a true freshman in 2016 and then led the team in receiving yards his sophomore season in 2017 with 482 and tied for the team lead in receptions with 37.
Under the new leadership of Pruitt in 2018, Johnson saw his playing time dip. After starting seven games during Jones’ final season as head coach, Johnson started just two games as a junior in year one of Pruitt. He finished the season with 14 catches for 123 yards.
Heading into his true senior season in 2019, Johnson was one of four senior wide receivers on UT’s roster along with Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway, and Tyler Byrd. Playing time was hard to come by for Johnson as he sat behind Jennings, Callaway, and Josh Palmer on the depth chart.
Johnson played in the first four games to begin his senior season. He scooped up a blocked punt in Tennessee’s win against Tennessee-Chattanooga and returned it for a touchdown, but he caught just two passes for 31 yards over the course of the first month of the season. Instead of watching his final season of eligibility slither away, Johnson and the coaching staff made the decision to redshirt and preserve his final year in Knoxville.
In preserving his final year of eligibility, it allowed Johnson to start six of the nine games he’s played in this season. Johnson has 19 catches on the season for 231 yards. He has not reached the end zone.
Johnson finishes his Tennessee career with 79 receptions for 969 yards and one score over 45 career games, including 15 starts. He has two career 100-yard games.