Former Florida player Chris Johnson dead at 22

Nick Bromberg
Former Florida player Chris Johnson dead at 22

Chris Johnson, a former Florida player who most recently played for Duquesne, died on Friday.

Per the Allegheny County medical examiner's office, Johnson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 22.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

He was found in a car in Churchill at 10:59 a.m. Friday. He is from Ocala, Fla. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

“Everyone associated with the Duquesne football program is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris," Duquesne football coach Jerry Schmitt said in a statement. "Chris was a passionate football player who was also a great teammate, who was loved by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time.”

Johnson's final game at Florida was the 2013 Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville. He was ejected in the second half for throwing a punch after an onside kick. He was a senior in 2014 at Duquesne and had 55 tackles playing defensive back.

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"I'm trying to peel it back as best I can," Justin Wentworth, Johnson's defensive coordinator while at Trinity Catholic, told the Ocala Star-Banner. "Nobody will ever know. When I texted with him on Wednesday, it was all good. You wouldn't have known anything. You ask how everything's going. How's life? How are classes going?

"He said everything was going good – typical upbeat, Juice stuff. Getting this news hurts deep. It's a knife to the heart."

According to Wentworth, Johnson was nicknamed "Juice" because his running style in high school resembled O.J. Simpson's. He played both defensive back and running back at Florida and had five carries for 35 yards in 2012.


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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!