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Draft Scout Austin Johnson News
03/17/12 - Austin Johnson might have thought he was simply stepping on the indoor football field at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex on Friday afternoon. Really, though, the former Tennessee linebacker was stepping into a time machine. It took him back one year, when another former Volunteers linebacker was trying to impress NFL scouts as a fullback. Unlike Nick Reveiz, however, Johnson relived his days at the position he played as a freshman and sophomore at UT when he took handoffs and caught passes out of the backfield during the Vols' pro day. "I feel like a lot of the fullback stuff comes naturally to me, running routes and those kind of drills," Johnson said. "I definitely will do some more offensive stuff, catching more balls if I have to. My main focus is linebacker unless a team says they want me [at fullback]. Wherever I end up going, I'll adjust accordingly." Friday was Johnson's biggest chance to improve his NFL stock since playing in the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game in January. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound North Carolina native joined the rest of his UT senior class for Friday's combine events and individual position drills in front of NFL scouts and a handful of other former Vols, including Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Most of the current Vols were on had to watch as well after running the steps of Neyland Stadium in the early-morning hours to close out the offseason workout program. "I knew it would be an opportunity for me because I played on offense and played on defense," he said. "I knew that there would be teams interested in the offensive side. The more I can show, the more I can do, it really helps me out and shows my versatility. I was happy to do whatever they asked. "I think I opened some eyes today for people who were maybe not looking at me until today." - Patrick Brown, The Chattanooga Times Free Press
03/17/12 - Tennessee Pro Day: One player who helped show off his versatility Friday was linebacker/fullback Austin Johnson. Johnson led the Vols with 81 tackles in 2011 while playing inside linebacker. The 6-2, 240 pound Johnson had previously played fullback for Tennessee, however, and took part in drills at both positions Friday, showing off better all-around athleticism and versatility than many had previously given him credit for possessing. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com