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November 4, 2019
US Air Force Academy’s Kyle Johnson to be honored at December 9th Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet
Charlotte, N.C. (November 4th, 2019) – The Charlotte Touchdown Club announced today Kyle Johnson, of the United States Air force Academy, as recipient of its 2019 Defender of the Nation Award sponsored by The Independence Fund.
The Defender of the Nation Award celebrates our nation’s military academies and their many outstanding-student athletes according to John Rocco Executive Director of the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Rocco commented, “our sincere congratulations to Air Force Academy’s Kyle Johnson being selected this year’s recipient. We look forward to honoring Kyle’s accomplishments at December 9th’s Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet!”
Recipient of The Defender of the Nation Award was selected from the nation’s (9) military academies and institutions including Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Coast Guard Academy, Naval Academy, Norwich University, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Virginia Military Institute and West Point and is based on exceptional leadership qualities on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The recipient must also exhibit a high standard of integrity by leading through example.
Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund, commented, “The Independence Fund congratulates Kyle Johnson of the U.S. Air Force Academy as the 2019 Defender of the Nation Award recipient. We know that Kyle’s character both on and off the football field exemplifies the spirit of a true leader. The Independence Fund is dedicated to supporting our Nation’s most catastrophically wounded Veterans, and today we salute Kyle for his for athletic and academic achievements, his leadership and for service to his community.”
Kyle Johnson is a senior inside linebacker. A starter in the 2019 season; Johnson has played in every game since 2017. Johnson is second on the team in tackles with 44 and the first Falcon with multiple defensive touchdowns since 1999. He is majoring in management with a minor in Spanish. A graduate of Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, Johnson lettered in football and lacrosse and was a First-Team All-State and All-First-Coast selection in football as a senior. Johnson was named Second-Team-All-Colorado by the National Football Foundation, Colorado Chapter and earned First-Team Academic All-Colorado by the National Football Foundation. Off the field, Johnson has completed the language immersion program, Operations Air Force, was on the cadet leadership team during survival training in the summer of 2018 and was on the cadet leadership cadre last summer. Kyle has also been recognized for being on the Superintendent’s List five separate semesters, Dean’s A-Team twice, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma management honor society, attending the Gettysburg Leadership Symposium, and a finalist for the CoSIDA Academic All-American award.
” In resounding ways, Kyle Johnson is every bit of anything we could ever desire in a Cadet-Athlete at the United States Air Force Academy,” Said Head Coach Troy Calhoun. “He’s physically and emotionally the toughest person you would ever coach, he’s an exceptional student, he’s an incredibly productive football player, and is as well respected of a teammate as one could have. The Charlotte Touchdown Club made a great choice for their 2019 Defender of the Nation Award in Kyle Johnson.”