Hometown:Amory, Miss.High School:Amory HSOther College:Itawamba CCAlma Mater:LSUGraduating Year:2012Major:General StudiesExperience:3 Years
Dennis Johnson, a LSU graduate and member of the school’s 2011 Southeastern Conference Championship team, enters his fourth season as a full-time coach on the staff and second as defensive line coach.
Johnson, who coached outside linebackers during his first two years on Ed Orgeron’s staff, is also a talented recruiter with an innate ability to land big-time recruits. He has played a pivotal role in LSU’s last three signing classes.
Johnson was first elevated to a full-time assistant coach in September of 2016 where he coached outside linebackers for the final eight games of the year. He was then given the job on a permanent basis when Orgeron was named LSU’s head coach in late November.
Johnson, who is affectionately nicknamed “Meatball” is a former LSU defensive linemen who was a member of the Tigers’ 13-0 regular season and Southeastern Conference Championship team in 2011.
After graduating from LSU in May of 2012, Johnson got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Northwestern State, where he coached the Demon linebackers. Johnson also spent the 2013 season at Northwestern State where he worked with the secondary.
After a brief stint at Kentucky in 2014, Johnson was lured back to LSU in time for the 2014 season, serving as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line. Johnson remained with the defensive line in 2015, working under Orgeron. Johnson was four games into his second season as a graduate assistant in 2016 when LSU made a head coaching change and thus was elevated to outside linebackers coach.
Last year in his first year coaching the Tiger defensive line, Johnson continued the development of veterans Rashard Lawrence and Breiden Fehoko, while younger players like Glen Logan, Tyler Shelvin and Neil Farrell all emerged as future standouts for the Tigers.
Lawrence capped his junior season with four tackles for loss and two sacks in LSU’s Fiesta Bowl win over UCF. He was named the defensive MVP for his play in the bowl win over UCF.
In his first year as LSU’s outside linebackers coach in 2017, Johnson played a key role in the development of senior Duke Riley, who in his first and only season as a starter for the Tigers, led the team in tackles with 93 and was later selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Riley was also named LSU’s most valuable player for the 2016 season and earned a spot in the Senior Bowl.
As a player for the Tigers, Johnson developed into a dependable backup on the defensive line where he played in 19 games in three years. Johnson finished his career with 11 tackles and one tackle for loss. A three-year letterwinner for LSU from 2009-11, Johnson joined the Tigers in 2008 after transferring from Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.
Johnson graduated from LSU in May of 2012 with a degree in general studies. Johnson added a Master’s degree in Health Promotion and Administration from Northwestern State in 2014.
The Johnson File
Year at LSU: Fourth (appointed September 25, 2016)
Birthdate: November 9, 1988
Hometown: Amory, Miss.
High School: Amory (Miss.) High School
Alma Mater: LSU (2012)
Post-Graduate: Northwestern State (2014)
2012-13 Northwestern State (graduate assistant, linebackers, 2012; secondary, 2013)
2014-15 LSU (graduate assistant, defensive line)
2016-18 LSU (outside linebackers, 2016-17, defensive line 2018-19)
As a player
Season Bowl Team Opponent Results
2009 Capital One LSU Penn State L, 19-17
2010 Cotton LSU Texas A&M W, 41-24
2011 BCS National Championship LSU Alabama L, 21-0
As a coach
Season Bowl Team Opponent Results
2014 Music City LSU Notre Dame L, 31-28
2015 Texas LSU Texas Tech W, 56-27
2016 Citrus LSU Louisville W, 29-9
2017 Citrus LSU Notre Dame L, 21-17
2018 Fiesta LSU UCF W, 40-32