published Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Defensive back Will Johnson not returning to UTC Mocs football team

UTC Mocs defensive back Will Johnson (24) runs during practice at Scrappy Moore Field.
UTC Mocs defensive back Will Johnson (24) runs during practice at Scrappy Moore Field.
Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

An already thin position has gotten thinner as redshirt sophomore defensive back Will Johnson informed University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coaches that he will not return to the program this season. According to head coach Russ Huesman, Johnson is leaving for "family reasons."

"Will has been a great worker and a model student here, and we hate to lose a guy that we felt could help our program," Huesman said. "But I also understand that family is the most important part of life. He felt like he needed to be back home, so we support his decision."

Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound cornerback from Alpharetta, Ga., made the UTC dean's list twice and was a Southern Conference Honor Roll student. He played in three games last season, including one start, and made five solo tackles in the season opener against Georgia State. He totaled eight tackles before a shoulder injury ended his season and also caused him to miss all of spring practice while recovering from the injury.

He was, however, expected to compete for a starting job at cornerback had he returned. Sophomore corner Dee Virgin and junior safety Sema'je Kendall are the Mocs' only returning players to have started a game in the secondary last season.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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