Derrick Johnson is a three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. He had played his entire nine-year career with the Chiefs after receiving All-American honors twice at the University of Texas.
Johnson was born on November 22, 1982 in Waco, TX and played linebacker for the football team at Waco High School. He recorded 170 tackles and 21 tackles for a loss as a senior, earning First-Team All-Texas Class 5A honors for the second straight season. On December 30, 2000, he participated in the first-ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl and made the decision to enroll at the University of Texas.
University of Texas
After arriving on campus in 2001, Johnson became a star for the Longhorns immediately, posting 57 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a freshman. He was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection in 2002, 2003, and 2004 and received First-Team All-American honors in 2003 and 2004. Following his senior season, he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and won the Dick Butkus Award as the country’s best linebacker. He wrapped up his career at Texas with 458 total tackles and 69 stops for a loss.
Kansas City Chiefs
Following graduation, Johnson was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. After a month-long holdout, he signed a five-year contract worth up to $10.4 million and became an instant starter at middle linebacker for the Chiefs. He started all 16 games, making 80 tackles and 2.0 sacks in the process. In 2009, he tied an NFL-record with two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game.
Johnson recovered from a disappointing 2009 season to lead Kansas City with 121 tackles in 2010. After agreeing to a five-year extension, he recorded 131 tackles in 2011 and was named to his first Pro Bowl while also being named First-Team All-Pro. He recorded over 100 tackles in each of the following two campaigns, earning Pro Bowl honors both seasons.
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