September 4, 2000


GREENVILLE -- Furman University junior cornerback Rodney Johnson has been sidelined for the remainder of the 2000 season after injuring his right knee in the Paladins' 16-3 season opening win over Elon Saturday, head coach Bobby Johnson announced today.

Johnson, a two-year letterman who started in every game and totaled 67 tackles in Furman's 1999 Southern Conference championship season, sustained torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments following a short interception return in the first quarter.

"Situations like this are one of the great tragedies of college football," said Bobby Johnson. "To see a guy work as hard as Rodney had to get ready for the season and have this happen in the first quarter of the first game is really tough. The play he got hurt on was spectacular up to the point of his injury. He broke on the football and made a great play. We will definitely miss him this season, but now there is an opportunity for other players to step up."

Senior Andre Stroman is expected to take over Johnson's starting job at right cornerback this Saturday when the Paladins play Newberry. Stroman, a three-year letterman who started 10 games at cornerback as a freshman in 1997, registered four tackles and a fumble recovery against Elon following Johnson's injury.

Johnson, a product of Marion, N.C., is expected to undergo reconstructive surgery within the next two weeks and begin a 10-month rehabilitation process, according to Furman head athletic trainer Brian Reese.

Johnson will seek a medical redshirt for the 2000 season to preserve his final two seasons of eligibility, according to Bobby Johnson.