KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Junior college transfer Alexis Johnson is practicing with the Tennessee football team one week after a UT student judicial panel ruled that student conduct charges against him were unfounded.
Johnson had been suspended from all team activities since February, when he was charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment of his ex-girlfriend.
The false imprisonment charge was dropped in April, at which time the Knox County district attorney also reached a resolution for the assault charge to be reduced from a felony to a to a misdemeanor.
Johnson is scheduled back in court on Oct. 10, at which time the assault charge could be dropped altogether.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones was vague when asked what criteria Johnson must satisfy to be eligible to play and in good standing. Johnson’s name had not been added back to the Vols’ official roster at the time of this story.
“That’s between Alexis and myself, and our administration and our football program, the expectations with him and his family,” Jones said following Thursday’s practice on Haslam Field. “They understand the expectations. He’s really only had a couple weeks in our program, so we have to get to know him.”
Jones went on to say that Johnson will have to go through the same summer conditioning programs as the rostered players, and that there is no timetable for Johnson to return.
Johnson, originally from Mount Zion High School in Georgia and rated the No. 3 JUCO defensive tackle coming out of Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College in the 2016 class, has maintained his class load throughout his suspension.
“He did very well in the classroom last semester,” Jones said, “but it’s a day by day process.”
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s SEC Country and lives in Knoxville.