Johnson breaks major NCAA record
Tulsa junior Damaris Johnson, who graduated from Destrehan High School, now holds the NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a career. Johnson will add to that mark next season after saying he will return to Tulsa for his senior year.
Johnson ran around, away from, and sideways through University of Hawaii defenders to lead Tulsa to a 62-35 victory in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
The speedy all-purpose star also earned MVP honors in the Hawaii Bowl after rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown on five carries and catching four passes for 101 yards and another score.
He had two big-plays in the third quarter, including a 59-yard reception and a 67-yard touchdown run.
Johnson also returned five kickoffs for 109 yards and a punt for 18 yards.
The junior wide receiver/return man totaled a career-high 326 all-purpose yards to break the NCAA career record held by Western Michigan’s Brandon West, who had 7,764 all-purpose yards.
In three seasons Johnson has totaled 7,796 all-purpose yards for Tulsa and he raised his nation-leading all-purpose average from 191.8 yards per game to 202.2 yards per game this season.
Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne says that Johnson is truly a great football player.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Kinne said. “He’s great every week for us. He breaks records every week. It’s a privilege to be on the same team as Damaris. His football instincts are just off the charts. I am just thrilled that we got him for one more year because he makes me look better.
Kinne says that he felt as though Hawaii tried to use the weather to wear the Golden Hurricanes down.
“I think they thought they could wear us down with the heat and the humidity. Hawaii has done that with other clubs, but we are in pretty good shape despite the layoff,” he said “Our offense, our offensive line, all the skill players and really the whole team took this game seriously.
“We wanted to make a statement today and I think we got our point across real strong. To beat Hawaii in their backyard says a lot for our team.”
Johnson echoed the sentiments of his quarterback, saying that Tulsa was taking this game very seriously.
“You can get distracted with a trip to Hawaii, but we knew in the back of our minds that we had to put aside the distractions,” Johnson said. “We played real well and came out with the win and that is the most important thing. The record is super, but it wouldn’t mean the same if we didn’t win the game. I am just overwhelmed with the attention shown about the record.
“We have an eight-hour plane ride back home and I will get some sleep on the plane and it’ll probably hit me tomorrow.”
Johnson also announced after the game that he plans to return to Tulsa for his senior season of college football.
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