The legend of Andy Johnson was a prominent life that was well lived.
The man, the myth, and the legend will be forever remembered for his skills that were displayed on the gridiron and the diamond at the University of Georgia. He then took his unbelievable talents to the National Football League, where he played for the New England Patriots from 1974-1982. For those who were lucky enough to come in contact with him know that what he did off the field is what he will be most remembered by. Below are some of those lucky ones who were very close to Andy and kind enough to share their experiences with him. R.I.P. Andy Johnson.
Heaven is a better place today solely by virtue of his presence. — Mark Hodge (Former Georgia teammate and best friend of Andy’s)
“Andy Johnson was truly special. He was the best athlete on our teams at UGA. Even with this elevated athletic status, he was also the most humble. Andy was a devoted husband and father. Our teammate experience turned into a lifetime friendship for me and many others. Andy Johnson will be missed by many.” — Mac McWhorter (Teammate at UGA and dear friend of Andy’s)
“In all of my career, I never knew a better natural athlete or a better person than Andy Johnson. He was a great warrior and a great knight.” — Vince Dooley (Head Coach of Andy at UGA from 1970-1974)
“It will be very hard for me to keep it short because he did so much and meant so much to all of the Dawgs he played with.
I actually knew Andy in high school. The last game I played in high school Andy was on the field. The last game I played in college Andy was on the field, and the last game I played in the pros Andy was on the field. He was so much of an influence on my life. The high school game he was beating my high school in the state playoffs. The last Georgia game, we were beating Maryland in the Peach Bowl, and the last pro game we were beating the Vikings in Foxboro.
In 1970, I was about to leave UGA because I wasn’t playing. Andy told me to wait until after spring practice and see where I was on the depth cart. I had a really good spring with a lot of interceptions and moved up to a starter. Andy and I were sitting at the Fifth Quarter that summer and Andy said see how things worked out. I said you were right. It almost seemed like you were throwing the ball to me in those practices during the spring. He just smiled and said I did! He made me look good! He also, talked the Patriots into signing me so you can see how much he did to change my career and my life.
My wife Sharon and I got him with his wife, Chot, so I helped him out a little also. I could really go on forever about him. If he was your friend, he was always your friend. We were as close as friends can get, and I will always miss him! He was a great athlete, but he was a much better friend!” — Dick Conn (Teammate at UGA, the New England Patriots, and very close friend of Andy’s)
AJ was the most talented athlete that I have ever seen but more importantly was his extreme humility and care for others! — David Dukes (Great friend of Andy’s)