Jan. 9, 2012
Freshman linebacker A.J. Johnson continued to pile up honors as he was named to the 2011 FWAA Freshman All-American Team on Monday.
Johnson's five accolades set a Tennessee record for most freshman All-American honors. Eric Berry had been named to four teams in 2007.
Johnson posted one of the best rookie seasons in Tennessee history. UT's starting weakside linebacker racked up 80 tackles, the second-most by a UT true freshman all-time, second only to Berry's 86 in 2007. The Gainesville, Ga., native led all SEC freshman in tackles and finished second to Austin Johnson (81) on the team.
He became the only true freshman in Tennessee history to have three double-figure tackle games in his debut season as he piled up 10-plus tackles in three consecutive contests. That trio of games came against No. 1 LSU (11 tackles), No. 2 Alabama (career-high 13 tackles) and No. 14 South Carolina (12 tackles), compiling 36 total tackles in that span.
Johnson was named SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance against Alabama. He had 13 tackles, the second-most by a true freshman Vol in history in a single-game. In 2011, Johnson also had 4.5 TFLs, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble playing in all 12 games with 10 starts.
Jackson played in all 12 games, starting the last five of the season at left guard. The Vero Beach, Fla., native was a part of the Vols' special teams kick-block offensive line all season long. He made his first start for Tennessee against then-No. 14 South Carolina, Oct. 29, after playing in the Vols' first seven games as a reserve.