Kevin Johnson, Norfolk State
Photo: Nick Sutton/Kinetic Stills

After announcing that he was entering the transfer portal on Dec. 11, former Norfolk State redshirt sophomore running Kevin Johnson announced Sunday that he will be headed to the Big South to play for the Spartans’ in-state rival the Hampton Pirates.

Johnson was one of two Norfolk State running backs to announce they were entering the transfer portal as fellow redshirt sophomore Rayquan Smith announced he was doing so in Nov. with three years of eligibility remaining.

In the 2021 season, Johnson played 10 of the team’s 11 games, recording 228 rushing yards on 49 attempts scoring three touchdowns as well as leading the team returning 12 kickoffs for a total of 230 yards.

Also read: Norfolk State QB Juwan Carter takes MEAC Offensive Player of the Year, Decobie Durant wins defensive honor

In addition, he caught 11 passes for 96 yards to bring his total all-purpose yards for the season to 554.

His numbers were down across the board from his freshman season with the Spartans in which he rushed for 468 yards on 86 attempts for eight touchdowns, catching 13 passes for 200 yards for three touchdowns, and returned 16 kicks for 291 yards.

Johnson will be joining a Hampton team that already has a loaded backfield including All-Big South second-team selection Elijah Burris.

Hampton was the second-best rushing team in the Big South averaging 177.1 rushing yards per game scoring 23 touchdowns. Ten of those scores came from senior quarterback Jett Duffey.

With Burris only finishing his freshman season while backfield mates Darren Butts and Keyondre White only finishing their sophomore season, this could not only potentially be the best backfield in all of HBCU football but in all of FCS next year.


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