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Michigan Running Back Drake Johnson Retires From Football
- Updated: April 11, 2017
Every year, college football proves to be too much to handle for certain players. Sometimes, it’s not in the cards for outstanding young talent to realize their full potential. For Drake Johnson, that day came on Monday. The senior running back could have received a sixth year of eligibility due to injuries, but decided to head in another direction.
We spoke with Jim Harbaugh just now, two major notes:
-Drake Johnson "will not continue in football"
-Grant Newsome unlikely to play in 2017
— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) April 10, 2017
Jim Harbaugh confirmed Johnson’s decision to leave the game of football after an injury-riddled career. As a result, the Michigan Wolverines will be down an extra running back. However, they have plenty of talent on the roster to make up for Johnson’s loss.
“He’s not going to continue with football,” Harbaugh said according to mlive.com. “(I’m not sure) he’s able to. Medically, emotionally — it just hasn’t been (where it needed to be).”
Johnson played in 17 career games with the Wolverines. He finished with 116 carries for 641 yards and eight touchdowns. Johnson was due to have his best season in 2016. With the Wolverines’ aspirations for a Big Ten title, their plethora of running backs seemed to be a strength. However, near tragedy struck the senior running back in a scary accident.
In April of 2016, Johnson was hit by a forklift while stretching in UM’s indoor track facility. After the incident, Harbaugh called it a miracle that Johnson was still alive. It was the last setback that ruined a promising career. During his freshman season, Johnson tore his ACL in the 2013 season-opener. He only managed two carries for nine yards.
During his return in 2014, Johnson started to find a groove within the Wolverines’ offense. He gained 361 yards and scored four touchdowns while averaging six yards per carry. However, Johnson’s season ended in the season finale against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He scored two touchdowns against the Buckeyes, but the second one proved to be damaging for Johnson. Once again, the promising ball carrier tore the ACL in the same knee.
Johnson came back in 2015 and averaged five yards per carry. Once again, he scored four touchdowns for the Wolverines. Johnson’s last touchdown came against the Florida Gators in the Citrus Bowl. He never played another down of college football.
Harrison has covered NFL, NBA, and CBB in the past. Earlier in his career, he was a national college football writer and Team writer for Husker Corner. Harrison also created the college football "Treat 16 Power Poll" some years back when college coaches relied on the running game.
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