Ex-Tennessee LB A.J. Johnson indicted on two counts of rape

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Former Tennessee star linebacker A.J. Johnson, one of the Volunteers' top NFL draft prospects, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of aggravated rape.

"We're making plans for him (Johnson) to surrender," attorney Tom Dillard told the Knoxville News Sentinel on Thursday.

Johnson had his invitation to next week's NFL Scouting Combine withdrawn on Friday.

Johnson, one of the SEC's leading tacklers during a decorated college career, was suspended by coach Butch Jones in November after becoming the subject of a Knoxville Police Department investigation into an alleged rape.

A 19-year-old woman accused Johnson and Tennessee defensive back Michael Williams of rape in November, prompting their suspension from the football program. Williams was also indicted on two counts of aggravated rape. Williams has turned himself in, and was released on a bond of $40,000, attorney David Eldridge told the News Sentinel. A second woman alleged a sexual assault by Williams in the case as well.

Johnson was also arrested about a year ago on a charge of purchasing alcohol for an underage person and resisting arrest.

The indictment clouds Johnson's future in football. His hopes of an NFL career are entering a crucial phase. Johnson was not invited to the Senior Bowl in January, so the combine would have been the first opportunity for NFL coaches and scouts to interview him and put him through the various physical tests used in evaluations. It is unclear if Johnson would be welcome at Tennessee's pro day event later this spring.



Johnson's draft stock has never been particularly high. He reportedly was given a third-day (Rounds 4-7) draft grade when he considered entering the draft as an underclassman last winter. Johnson's limited lateral-movement skills are among the on-field scouting concerns for him.

Despite playing in just 10 games due to his suspension, Johnson led the Volunteers in tackles last season with 101, including nine for losses.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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