Way too early, the Marshall football family has lost one of its own.
The family of Devon Johnson confirmed in a statement late Tuesday night that the former Thundering Herd running back passed away earlier in the day. He was just 25 years old.
A cause of death has not yet been made public.
“With tremendous grief and sadness we can confirm that Devon Johnson passed away today, November 6, 2018. Devon was only 25 years old and was taken from us far too soon. He was a beautiful, fleeting flame in all of our lives that tragically did not get to burn for nearly long enough. Devon was an incredible football player, but he was an even better person. He forged and treasured relationships from childhood, to his success as a member of the Marshall Thundering Herd, to his time spent in the Carolina Panthers organization, and beyond.
“Devon will always be in our hearts, and we sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support, thoughts, and respects. We kindly and humbly ask that at this time, our family be allowed to grieve privately, so that we can properly process and mourn this sudden loss.
“Please keep Devon in your prayers, and thank you.
Johnson played for the Thundering Herd from 2012-15. In 2014, Johnson rushed for 1,767 yards, second on the school’s all-time list despite missing nearly three full games, in earning first-team All-Conference USA honors as well as being named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award. His 272 yards in a win over FAU that season set the program’s single-game record.
Injuries robbed Johnson of most of his senior season, and he ultimately signed as a free agent with the Panthers after not being selected in the 2016 NFL draft. While he earned a spot on the practice squad, Johnson never made it onto Carolina’s active roster.
“I am shocked and saddened at the news of Devon Johnson’s passing,” a statement attributed to Herd head coach Doc Holliday began. “Devon was a force in our program, both literally and figuratively. Whether on the field or off, his impact was immeasurable and he will be missed by so many at Marshall. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.”