A former running back of the New England Patriots passed away Wednesday.
The team announced via press release that Andy Johnson passed away at his home state of Georgia following a long illness. He was 65 years old.
Johnson, drafted in the fifth round of the 1974 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia, spent eight seasons with the Patriots (1974-1982).
During his tenure in Foxborough, Johnson racked up 491 rushing attempts for 2,017 yards (4.1 avg.) and 13 rushing touchdowns and caught 161 passes for 1,807 yards and nine touchdowns.
His most productive season came in 1976 when he scored 10 touchdowns and had 1,042 combined yards rushing and receiving while the Patriots finished second in the AFC East and qualified for the playoffs.
In 1978, Johnson contributed to the historic Patriots rushing offense that set an NFL record with 3,165 rushing yards on the season, a record that still stands today. Johnson ended the season with 147 rushes for 675 yards (4.6 avg.) and three touchdowns. The team would again qualify for the playoffs.
During his college career with the Georgia Bulldogs, Johnson starred at quarterback where he led his team to two bowl victories during his sophomore and senior seasons and set the SEC record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,799.
A multi-sport athlete, baseball was also a part of Johnson’s life, he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves as a shortstop out of high school, but chose to attend the University of Georgia on a football scholarship. He was a member of Georgia’s baseball team for three years, compiling a .281 career batting average.
Johnson was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
Per the Patriots, “Johnson is survived by his wife Charlotte and three children; Kristy, Brent and Brooke. A visitation is scheduled on Saturday, May 19, from 3-5 p.m. at Bernstein Funeral Home in Athens, Ga. A graveside service will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 3:30 p.m. at the Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens, Ga.”
Sam Cunningham, Darryl Stingley and Andy Johnson in waning moments of regular-season win over Raiders, 10/3/76. (Photo by Frank O'Brien/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/Uje9QgN3Zl
— Christopher Price (@cpriceglobe) May 17, 2018
Very sad to hear to hear about the passing of one my childhood favorite players Andy Johnson. a college QB, Johnson was a RB for the Patriots. Could run, throw and was a very good receiver out of the backfield. RIP pic.twitter.com/OgJUq9K8eD
— Steve Balestrieri (@SteveB7SFG) May 16, 2018
Posted Under: 2018 Patriots Offseason
Tags: Andy Johnson