CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) — University of Texas
football legend Johnnie Johnson has been named
the 2021 recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award
and will be honored at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet
presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy, annually awarded to the top defensive
player in college football, is announced by the Charlotte Touchdown
Club and the Football Writers Association of America at the same
Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound native of LaGrange, Texas, played
at the University of Texas from 1976-79 and was a two-time consensus
All-American during his junior and senior seasons. He was a member
of the FWAA’s 1978 and '79 All-America Teams, from which the Legends
Award recipient is chosen.
The FWAA and CTC have presented a Nagurski Legends Award since
the 2007 season. Previous recipients include such standouts as Notre
Dame’s Alan Page, Michigan State’s Bubba Smith, Miami, Fla’s Ted
Hendricks, Florida’s Jack Youngblood, Maryland’s Randy White, Ohio
State’s Tom Cousineau and UCLA’s Jerry Robinson.
"Johnson was one of the iconic defensive players from the
great Texas defensive teams under Coach Fred Akers in the 1970s,"
said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. "He obviously
joins a long line of great defensive players who are celebrated
with this award. The FWAA first awarded the Defensive Player of
the Year Award in 1993. The Legends Award winners at this time come
from past FWAA All-America teams from 1966-92."
From 1977-79, Johnson played on three Texas teams that ranked
among the Top 10 teams nationally in total defense and had 13 career
interceptions. He also was a punt return specialist for Texas, with
1,004 career return yards. Named to the Southwest Conference All-Decade
Team, Johnson was a 1979 UT co-captain during his senior season.
Selected in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft as the 17th
pick by the Los Angeles Rams, Johnson played safety and cornerback
for 11 seasons in the National Football League, mostly with the
Los Angeles Rams. He was inducted into the College Football Hall
of Fame in 2007. His son Collin, a wide receiver, also played at
Texas and is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National
College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses
the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997,
the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating
to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of
America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college
football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and
publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve
the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations,
major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information
about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for
the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional
football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club's activities and
services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship,
scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and
coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised more than $2 million to
benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information,
contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or
The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is
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