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CJC Alum Receives 2022 FWAA Edward Aschoff Rising Star Award

Richard Johnson, B.S. Telecommunication 2015, is the recipient of the third Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Edward Aschoff Rising Star Award recognizing one promising journalist no older than 34, who has not only the talent and work ethic to succeed in the sports media business, but also the passion to make it better.

Richard Johnson

Johnson began his professional career at ESPN in 2015 and joined SB Nation as a national college football writer the following year. He spent four years working for the site before starting at Sports Illustrated in the fall of 2021. Johnson co-hosts the SEC Network show “Thinking Out Loud” in addition to co-hosting the college football podcast “Split Zone Duo.” He also makes regular appearances across ESPN linear and digital programming.

He is a co-author of “The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA” – an illustrated e-book about the history of college sports. Johnson, now based in Brooklyn, began his career as a writer for The Independent Florida Alligator student newspaper.

Edward Aschoff, B.S. Journalism 2008, an acclaimed ESPN college football reporter, passed on Dec. 24, 2019 at the age of 34. The FWAA created the award in honor of Aschoff in 2020. The College also created the Edward Aschoff Memorial Fund in his honor to support students at the College pursuing sports journalism.

Johnson knew Aschoff personally. The two spent time together, most recently in the spring of 2018, when they were reporting stories at Arizona State at the same time.

According to Johnson, “Ed is a prime example of how representation matters. There are unfortunately too few Black people covering this sport, and for as long as I’d known him, seeing Ed on television or his byline on the website was proof positive that he’d made it in this industry and that I could too. You could say I basically followed his blueprint from UF’s journalism school to covering the Gators all the way to ESPN, and it was an honor to shout him out during my first season on the SEC Network.”

Founded in 1941, the FWAA consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.

Posted: July 18, 2022
Category: Alumni News, College News, Diversity News and Profiles
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