HomeSportsOregon's DJ Johnson declares for the 2023 NFL Draft, weeks after punching...

Oregon’s DJ Johnson declares for the 2023 NFL Draft, weeks after punching an Oregon State fan on the field


Oregon pass rusher DJ Johnson officially declared for the NFL Draft on Thursday, just weeks after he was caught on video punching an Oregon State fan on the field in what is now his last collegiate game.

Johnson, who led the Ducks with six sacks this season, took to Twitter to post his announcement and officially confirm that he would opt out of the Oregon bowl game against North Carolina later this month to pursue his NFL career.

Oregon Ducks linebacker DJ Johnson, #2, stands on the field against the Washington Huskies at Autzen Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.
(Tom Hauck/fake images)

“Thank you to Oregon and everyone who helped me get to where I am today,” he wrote in a tweet. “I will be entering my name in the NFL Draft. Truly blessed by the opportunities ahead.”

OREGON INVESTIGATING AFTER A PLAYER HIT AN OREGON STATE FAN FROM BEHIND AFTER A MAJOR PICKUP

Johnson made headlines for his performance on the field this season, but came under fire last month when a video appeared on social networks which appeared to show the senior linebacker hitting a fan wearing an Oregon State jersey from behind.

The altercation followed the Ducks losing their spot in the Pac-12 Championship game after wasting a 21 point lead in the third quarter, losing 38-34 to the 21st-ranked Beavers.

Oregon State Beavers defensive back Jaydon Grant, #3, makes a tackle during the first half of a game against the Oregon Ducks at Reser Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Corvallis, Oregon.

Oregon State Beavers defensive back Jaydon Grant, #3, makes a tackle during the first half of a game against the Oregon Ducks at Reser Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Corvallis, Oregon.
(Ali Gradischer/Getty Images)

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Oregon said it was looking into the situation. On Sunday, head coach Dan Lanning said Johnson’s reaction was prompted by a “pretty extreme” comment made to him.

“As you dig into that situation, do some digging on our side and really on the other side through a few avenues, you realize that DJ was at a point there where he certainly wishes he had acted differently,” Lanning said, via oregon live. “But something was said that was quite extreme for him, that some people might act in a similar way.”

Oregon Ducks number 2 DJ Johnson reacts after sacking the quarterback against the California Golden Bears during the second quarter of an NCAA football game at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Berkeley, Calif.

Oregon Ducks number 2 DJ Johnson reacts after sacking the quarterback against the California Golden Bears during the second quarter of an NCAA football game at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium on October 29, 2022 in Berkeley, Calif.
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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He continued: “I certainly don’t condone the behavior. I know DJ wishes he could take that moment back. It was an intense situation. But those things happen sometimes and I know he would handle it differently if given the chance.”

Oregon and North Carolina will meet in the Holiday Bowl on December 28 at Petco Park, the first football game played at the San Diego Padres’ downtown home. It will also be the first Holiday Bowl since 2019.

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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