TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Junior left tackle Roderick Johnson, a two-time Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top offensive lineman, will enter the 2017 National Football League Draft, he announced Tuesday afternoon. After taking over the starting left tackle position against Miami midway through the 2014 season, Johnson started the final 31 games of his Florida State career, helping FSU to the 2014 ACC Championship and three consecutive New Year’s Six bowls.
“After dedicating time to prayer and talking with my family, I have decided it is in my best interest to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft,” Johnson said in a statement released Tuesday. “I look forward to the challenges ahead and am excited about the opportunity to play at the next level.”
Johnson, from Florissant, Mo., began his career as a freshman in 2014 coming off the bench for an offensive line that saw all five players drafted or sign free agent contracts in the NFL. Against Miami, Johnson made his first career start at left tackle, helping pave the way for then-freshman running back Dalvin Cook’s 92-yard performance in what is seen as a breakout performance for both players. Behind Johnson, Cook would go on to set multiple FSU rushing records, including 4,464 career yards, 1,765 rushing yards in 2016 and 46 rushing touchdowns.
He was twice named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week, following historic rushing performances by Cook against USF (267 yards, No. 2 in FSU history) and Syracuse (225 yards, No. 7).
Johnson was also the driving force behind the early career success of redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois in 2016. After accounting for 478 total yards in his debut against No. 11 Ole Miss in September, Francois passed for 20 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards.
In addition to being named the 2015 and 2016 Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner as the ACC’s top offensive lineman, Johnson was a first team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2016. He was a second team selection by Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, and the American Football Coaches Association.
Johnson and Cook joined four other seniors in being named team captains for the 2016 season following the year.
Statement from Florida State junior left tackle Roderick Johnson:
After dedicating time to prayer and talking with my family, I have decided it is in my best interest to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. My faith in Christ has kept me grounded with an open mind to seek and accept sound advice and guidance. Much of which, I received as a student-athlete at Florida State from Coach Fisher, Coach Trickett and Coach Brewster, who I wholeheartedly thank for their coaching and support. I also want to thank the football support staff and academics staff. You have been my family away from home and I can’t thank you enough for both challenging me and providing the resources I needed to be successful. As the next step in my career begins and I continue to mature, I will have you all to thank for giving me a solid foundation in my path to succeed. To my teammates, my Nole brothers – thank you for always supporting me, encouraging me and holding me accountable. I am honored to be your brother as a member of the Seminole family for life. To the best fans in the world, thanks for all of your support and for giving Doak Campbell Stadium the best atmosphere in college football. I will treasure the memories I’ve made at Florida State because of my coaches, the staff, my teammates and the fans.
Finally, to my family, my Mom and Dad, who are my No. 1 fans: The unconditional love and support you have given me my entire life is unbelievable. Your patience, guidance and encouragement continue to sustain me and I am grateful.
I look forward to the challenges ahead and am excited about the opportunity to play at the next level.