CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) — University of Texas football legend Johnnie Johnson has been named the 2021 recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award and will be honored at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy, annually awarded to the top defensive player in college football, is announced by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America at the same event.

Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound native of LaGrange, Texas, played at the University of Texas from 1976-79 and was a two-time consensus All-American during his junior and senior seasons. He was a member of the FWAA’s 1978 and ’79 All-America Teams, from which the Legends Award recipient is chosen.

The FWAA and CTC have presented a Nagurski Legends Award since the 2007 season. Previous recipients include such standouts as Notre Dame’s Alan Page, Michigan State’s Bubba Smith, Miami, Fla’s Ted Hendricks, Florida’s Jack Youngblood, Maryland’s Randy White, Ohio State’s Tom Cousineau and UCLA’s Jerry Robinson.

“Johnson was one of the iconic defensive players from the great Texas defensive teams under Coach Fred Akers in the 1970s,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “He obviously joins a long line of great defensive players who are celebrated with this award. The FWAA first awarded the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1993. The Legends Award winners at this time come from past FWAA All-America teams from 1966-92.”

From 1977-79, Johnson played on three Texas teams that ranked among the Top 10 teams nationally in total defense and had 13 career interceptions. He also was a punt return specialist for Texas, with 1,004 career return yards. Named to the Southwest Conference All-Decade Team, Johnson was a 1979 UT co-captain during his senior season.

Selected in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft as the 17th pick by the Los Angeles Rams, Johnson played safety and cornerback for 11 seasons in the National Football League, mostly with the Los Angeles Rams. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. His son Collin, a wide receiver, also played at Texas and is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised and donated nearly $3 million to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics. For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.mysites.io). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is touchdownclub.mysites.io.

About LendingTree, Inc.
LendingTree is the nation’s leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, by comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search and choosing the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards, insurance and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers’ credit accounts against offers on their network and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. LendingTree’s purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support.