Broncos pick up A.J. Johnson following the acquittal of rape charges

In 2014, A.J. Johnson was a star linebacker with the University of Tennessee Vols and had his eyes set on the NFL.  He was expected to be drafted in 2015, but rape charges in late 2014 put a kink in those plans and Johnson has been riding the pine ever since.  Now, just three weeks after he saw the rape charges against him dropped, Johnson has been picked up by the Denver Broncos and is already starting to get back into the football rhythm. 

Johnson, along with former teammate Michael Williams, were both accused of aggravated rape in 2014 and indicted the following February.  Both players were immediately suspended from the Vols and the NFL, in a move that made sense at the time, turned its back on the three-time All-SEC selectee.  Now that the charges have been dropped, he will finally be able to step onto an NFL field, closing a chapter in his life that he would probably like to forget. 

John Elway, former Broncos quarterback and GM for the team, said, "A.J. hasn't had the opportunity to play football for the last three years while resolving a serious legal matter.  We've had several conversations with him since he's been cleared and have become very familiar with his background and character. Our organization is confident A.J. is ready to move forward and resume his playing career.''

When he played for the Vols, Johnson started all four years.  He logged 425 tackles - the second highest amount in the school's history.  He has tried to stay in shape, anticipating an eventual appearance in the NFL, and said, "I've done a lot of stuff, but pretty much training myself.  I'm a personal trainer. I did MMA for a good bit of time. Just training, staying ready, and I trained people. [I was] working a full-time job while training and everything. Staying positive and kept pushing myself."

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