Making his hometown proud

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Georgia Institute of Technology athletics department announced that Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson would be one of seven to be inducted into its 2018 Sports Hall of Fame class.

The Dallas County High School alumnus joins two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh, All-Americans Steven Blackwood (baseball), Adriane Lapsley Butler (track and field), Kristi Miller North (tennis), Chan Song (golf) and athletics fundraiser Jack Thompson in this year’s class.

Johnson is in Georgia Tech’s record books for sacks (19) and tackles for loss (30.5). He’s ninth in school history for sacks and tied for 17th in tackles for loss. He also forced 10 fumbles and blocked three field goals.

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In his senior year, he finished the season with 17.5 tackles for loss ad nine sacks. 

He was a first-team All-American and first-team All-ACC selection, before he was taken in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

We know about his success on the football field, but what is more impressive is Johnson’s work in the Selma-Dallas County community.

Community service has been constant in Johnson’s life since he was a student at Dallas County High School.

Leaving Dallas County to go to college in Atlanta and then maintain a 10-year NFL career hasn’t changed his spirit of volunteerism.

Not only does he give back to his hometown, but he does it in person.

Not only does he sponsor the annual Fun Day and Health Expo, but he also helps out the community when no one is around to see.

He assisted the Selma University baseball program when they needed assistance getting to the USCAA Small College World Series.

He’s given back to his old high school and other high schools in the area.

I’m not sure how many people in the community have his stats memorized, but they do know how much he means to Selma-Dallas County.

They can say I got a free health screening at Johnson’s Health Expo and now I’m making healthier lifestyle choices. Kids can say that Johnson introduced me to coding at his Technology Day.

So, congratulations Michael on your induction into Georgia Tech’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Your accomplishments both on and off the field have made your hometown proud.

Thomas Scott is the sports reporter for the Selma Times Journal. He can be reached at