KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson has been named the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the week.
The Gainesville graduate had 13 tackles against Alabama, the second-best performance by a true freshman behind Eric Berry's 14 tackles against Kentucky in 2007. It was the biggest performance by a Tennessee player this season.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Johnson ranks first among SEC freshmen with 45 total tackles this season, which is tied for the Tennessee team lead with senior linebacker Austin Johnson.
The Volunteers (3-4, 0-4) host South Carolina (6-1, 4-1) on Saturday, pitting two former Hall County stars against each other. Johnson was a standout junior linebacker for the Red Elephants while South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was a senior at Flowery Branch.