In the end, there were one too many injury hurdles for Drake Johnson to navigate and get over.
Jim Harbaugh confirmed Monday that the Michigan running back has decided to hang up his football cleats and call it a career in the sport. While Johnson would’ve been an obvious candidate for a sixth season of eligibility, the Wolverines head coach indicated that the back simply doesn’t have it in him anymore.
“He’s not going to continue with football,” Harbaugh said according to mlive.com. “(I’m not sure) he’s able to. Medically, emotionally — it just hasn’t been (where it needed to be).”
In April of 2016, Johnson was run over by a forklift while stretching at U-M’s indoor track building. Harbaugh said it “was a miracle, right up there with Easter,” that Johnson wasn’t more severely injured. “It would’ve killed a lesser man,” the coach added.
Johnson didn’t play at all in 2016 as a fifth-year senior.
That was merely the most recent health setback for the three-star 2012 recruit.
Johnson tore the ACL in his left knee, while scoring a touchdown, in the loss to Ohio State to close out the 2014 season. In the 2013 opener, he tore the ACL in the same knee and missed the remainder of the season.
Returning in 2014, Johnson was the Wolverines’ third-leading rusher in 2014 with 361 yards. His four rushing touchdowns were tied for second on the team.
In 2015, he ran for 271 yards and another four rushing touchdowns as he started one of the 12 games in which he played. The rushing yards were second on the team.