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Michael Johnson is a defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals, who selected him with the 70th overall pick in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Johnson attended Georgia Tech, where he played for four seasons primarily as a pass rushing specialist. Michael Johnson is 6-feet, 7-inches tall and weighs 260 pounds
In high school, Michael Johnson was a star tight end and defensive lineman at Dallas County High School in Plantersville, Alabama. He caught 42 passes for 650 yards and six touchdowns as a senior while making 92 tackles and 14 sacks on defense. He was listed as the No. 31 tight end prospect by rivals.com, but was recruited more heavily as a defensive end. He committed early in the process to Georgia Tech, but did make an official visit to Purdue before signing with the Yellow Jackets.
Michael Johnson played sparingly as a true freshman, finishing the season with six tackles and 1.0 sacks in 11 games. He saw most of his action on special teams.
Michael Johnson became one of Georgia Tech's top pass rushers in 2006, finishing second on the team with 5.0 sacks, despite starting just once. He missed the first two games of the season with an injury, then played in the final 12 games for the Yellow Jackets, recording 33 total tackles. He recorded a career-high two sacks against Maryland, with both sacks coming on back-to-back plays in the final minute of the game.
Michael Johnson continued to specialize as a pass rusher in 2007, playing in all 13 games but starting just once. He recorded 21 total tackles and four sacks. He forced three fumbles, tying for seventh-best in the ACC. His two blocked kicks were the team high for Georgia Tech. His breakout game came in a losing effort against Virginia Tech, when he had seven total tackles, two sacks and blocked a kick.
Michael Johnson became a starter in 2008, recording a career high 46 total tackles. His 9.0 sacks led the team, and he led the Yellow Jackets with 17.5 tackles for loss. He had a career-high 4.5 tackles for loss against Gardner-Webb, but committed a personal foul penalty that negated a missed field goal and led to a Gardner-Webb touchdown. He was a first team All-ACC selection after the season, one of two Georgia Tech defensive players to earn that honor. In his final college game, Johnson had two sacks in Georgia Tech's loss to LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
Michael Johnson was selected in the third round (70th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Before the 2009 season, Johnson signed a contract with Cincinnati. Terms were not disclosed.
Michael Johnson is the son of Samuel and Thomasene Johnson. His father Samuel is a Vietnam veteran (Marines) and received the Purple Heart.
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