TAMPA, Fla. – Senior outside linebacker Derrell Johnson has accepted an invitation to play in the 89th East-West Shrine Game, which will be held on Jan. 18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. (EST) and will be televised live on the NFL Network.
Johnson joins an elite list of football greats, such as John Elway, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and 62 NFL Hall of Famers, who have played in the East-West Shrine Game, along with 52 players currently on active NFL rosters.
“The East-West Shrine Game has always fielded players among college football’s best,” said East-West Shrine Game Executive Director Harold Richardson. “With all 32 NFL teams represented by GMs, coaches and scouts during game week, our players have the terrific opportunity to showcase their talents and get their first glimpse of life in the NFL … ‘Just Like on Sunday.’”
During his senior campaign, Johnson garnered Second-Team All-Conference USA honors for the second-straight season after leading the league with 8.0 sacks. He tallied a team-best 14.0 TFLs (-65 yards) and nine quarterback hurries, while sharing the team lead in total stops (80) with fellow classmate Damon Magazu.
The Baltimore, Md. native closed out his four-year career helping ECU to a 37-20 win over Ohio in the 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl on Dec. 23. While at ECU, Johnson recorded 221 career tackles (84 solo) with 35.0 TFLs (-146 yards), 19.0 sacks (-109 yards) and 22 QBHs. He was part of a defensive unit that held 12 opponents to less than 100 yards rushing over the last four seasons.
Johnson becomes the 13th Pirate to participate in the East-West Shrine Game and the first since Emanuel Davis and Lance Lewis in 2011.