Former Georgia quarterback Andy Johnson died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 65.
Johnson earned the starting role for the Bulldogs as a sophomore in 1971 and guided Georgia to nine consecutive double-digit wins before Auburn, which was led by Heisman Trophy quarterback Pat Sullivan, came to Sanford Stadium and pulled out a 35-20 triumph. Georgia regrouped to defeat Georgia Tech and then topped North Carolina 7-3 in a Gator Bowl that pitted Bulldogs coach Vince Dooley against his brother, Bill, who coached the Tar Heels.
Football News named Johnson the most outstanding sophomore in college football.
Johnson battled injuries as a junior in 1972 but still helped the Bulldogs to a 7-4 record. As a senior in 1973, he led Georgia to a 7-4-1 season that was capped by a 17-16 defeat of Maryland in the Peach Bowl.
In his three seasons, Johnson compiled 1,799 rushing yards, which set the Southeastern Conference career record for a quarterback.
Johnson, who also played three seasons of baseball at Georgia and was a .281 hitter, was selected in the fifth round of the 1974 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. He played nine seasons for the Patriots as a running back, amassing 699 yards in 1976 and 675 in 1977.
The 1976 Patriots went 11-3 before losing to eventual Super Bowl XI champion Oakland in the first round of the playoffs.
Johnson is survived by a wife and three children. Services have been scheduled for this weekend in Athens.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.