At 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, Johnson signed with Miami out of North Atlanta High near Selma, Ala. After originally committing to Louisville, Johnson switched his commitment to the Hurricanes very late in the recruiting process.
Johnson, a three-star recruit coming out of high school, spent the 2011 season redshirting. It didn't take him long to make an impact during the 2012 season as a redshirt freshman. He played in 10 games, starting eight of them, and finished the season with 59 tackles and 7.5 for loss. He also caused three fumbles and intercepted a pass.
At times Johnson looked like Miami's best linebacker on the field in 2012. Unfortunately, he dealt with multiple suspensions and never really reached his potential in the short time he was here.