April 25, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and tailback Rajion Neal have been named All-American Athletes by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and Muscle Milk®.
The awards recognize Johnson and Neal's athletic accomplishments and his dedication to strength and conditioning. Johnson was nominated by Associate Strength Coach Mike Szerszen, while Neal was nominated by Head Strength Coach Dave Lawson.
"A.J. is hands down one of the hardest workers I have ever been associated with in my time of coaching," said Lawson. "He brings a high level of intensity and effort every single day. He works at such a level that it makes the others in the room have to push to keep up with him. He is a "tempo setter" kind of guy because of his effort. That alone is one of the best compliments a coach can give to a student-athlete."
Szerszen added, "A.J. is an extremely hard worker that raises everyone to work at a higher intensity level around him."
"Rajion took every challenge we put in front of him in terms of physical and mental development and crushed them," said Lawson. "He allowed us to challenge him in the weight room in terms of effort, intensity and consistency. He took those things and combined it with the coaching of Coach Gillespie on the field and continued to develop himself into the total football player."
"We are proud to have A.J. Johnson and Rajion Neal join the NSCA in its mission to safely improve athletic performance," says Coach Boyd Epley, NSCA Founder, "Supporting our student-athletes like A.J. and Rajion guarantees a stronger future for the NSCA."
About the National Strength & Conditioning Association
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association founded in 1978. Evolving from a membership of 76, the association now serves nearly 30,000 members in 52 countries. Drawing upon its vast network of members, the NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices, injury prevention, and research findings.
Unlike any other organization, the NSCA brings together a diverse group of professionals from the sport science, athletic, allied health, and fitness industries. These individuals are all in pursuit of achieving a common goal--the utilization of proper strength training and conditioning to improve athletic performance and fitness.
Central to its mission, the NSCA provides a bridge between the scientist in the laboratory and the practitioner in the field. By working to find practical applications for new research findings in the strength and conditioning field, the association fosters the development of strength training and conditioning as a discipline and as a profession.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the NSCA serves as a valuable resource for its members, the fitness industry, general public, and the media. The association provides a wide variety of resources and opportunities designed to strengthen, build, advance, and unify.