Zach Johnson - Football - University of Kentucky Athletics 28


  • position Running Back
  • height 5-10
  • Weight 185
  • class Junior
  • Hometown Cincinnati, Ohio
  • High school Colerain

2021 -* Senior

  • Elected to return for a fifth year, taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling to grant an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Kentucky’s primary kickoff returner

2020 – Senior

  • Burlsworth Trophy nominee, an award given to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field
  • Named to SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll
  • Has played in 44 career games, including 10 in 2020
  • Missed his first game since 2017 when he didn’t dress vs. South Carolina due to COVID protocol
  • Totaled 11 returns for 228 yards, averaging 20.7 yards per return, also had a tackle

2019 – Junior

  • Saw action in all 13 games
  • Had six kick returns for 164 yards (27.3)
  • Had a 58-yard return, the longest of his career, at Georgia
  • Also had four tackles
  • Got his first career PBU vs. Vanderbilt
  • Named to SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

2018 – Sophomore

  • Had eight tackles in 13 games on special teams, most of them highlight-reel worthy
  • Earned a full scholarship in the 2018 fall camp
  • Dean’s List (Fall 2018)

2017 – r-Freshman

  • Saw action in eight games on special teams
  • Had two kick returns for 35 yards

2016 – Freshman

  • Redshirt season

High School

  • A two-year starter and three-year letter winner at Colerain for head coach Tom Bolden
  • Helped the Cardinals compile a 44-8 overall record and four conference championships in his four seasons, including a 12-2 record as a senior
  • Averaged 8.0 yards per carry
  • Ran for 142 yards and a TD as a junior
  • Named first-team All-Conference as a senior
  • Honor-roll student
  • Chose UK over Georgetown Univ., Navy and Army

Community Cats

  • Volunteered at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and Rosa Parks Elementary (2020)


  • Born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Son of Aubrey Johnson and the late Cindy Johnson
  • Siblings are Brittany, Kirt, and Madison
  • Got married in March of 2021 to long-time girlfriend, Sydney Fannin
  • Graduated in December of 2020 with a degree in health promotion … Currently working on a master’s degree in sport leadership

Zach Says

  • He chose Kentucky because it’s been his favorite school since he was young
  • After football he would like to pursue a career working in a hospital
  • When he played football as a kid he pretended to be Reggie Bush
  • His sports hero is Marshawn Lynch because of his work ethic
  • Best advice he’s ever received is “remain humble and work for everything you get”
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