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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Week Two's Overnight Sensation: Antonio Johnson, Defensive Back

September 13, 2021

Each Monday during the 2021 Texas A&M football season, we’ll identify a first or second-year Aggie player who delivered an exceptional performance and earned the distinction of being the week’s ‘Overnight Sensation.’ 

A defensive standout from a defensive struggle.

Sophomore nickel Antonio Johnson played the game of his life on Saturday as the Aggies squeaked by Colorado, 10-7. When the Maroon & White needed the defense to stand tall, Johnson answered the bell again and again in what was the third start of his collegiate career.

The East St. Louis, Illinois native tallied a team-high nine tackles, all of which were solo stops. Only Colorado linebacker Nate Landman had more (10). Johnson also had two crucial pass breakups, matching Landman for a game-high.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Johnson was all over the field on Saturday, making tackles in space, rushing the quarterback and getting his hands on pass attempts.

Johnson got involved early, bringing down tailback Jarek Broussard for a minimal gain on Colorado's second play from scrimmage. On the Buffs' next series, Johnson deflected a Brendon Lewis pass intended for Brenden Rice to get A&M's defense off the field on third-and-3.

In the second stanza, Colorado moved the ball well but failed to add to their lead. Johnson again played a role, making four tackles in the second 15 minutes of action.

Perhaps his most impressive play of the day came in the third quarter. Lewis checked down to Broussard at the CU 21-yard line. Johnson came flying from the middle of the field like a heat-seeking missile, went low to avoid any potential targeting penalty and took out Broussard's legs to hold the Buffs to a one-yard gain. It was the last time Colorado's All-Pac-12 running back touched the ball.

After the Aggies finally took the lead late with 2:41 to play, it was up to the A&M defense for one more stand. Again, Johnson was there, breaking up Lewis' pass on the first play of the series. Three plays later, the Buffs turned it over on downs, and the Aggies left Empower Field at Mile High with a stressful 10-7 win.

Anyone who follows Texas A&M football knows how important the nickel position is in Mike Elko's defense, and Johnson has established himself as the perfect man for the job.

Johnson's stats vs. Colorado
Tackles: 9
Solo Tackles: 9
Tackles for Loss: 0
Pass Breakups: 2

Johnson's 2021 stats
Tackles: 15
Solo Tackles: 15
Tackles for Loss: 1.0
Pass Breakups: 2

Discussion from...

Week Two's Overnight Sensation: Antonio Johnson, Defensive Back

2,289 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 11 days ago by ccatag
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Kid is going to be a superstar. Reminds me of Patrick bates. Similar size and style of play. Great game Antonio we needed it.
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Excited about his future.
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Defensive playmaker.
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