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Charles Johnson    

Defensive End for the Carolina Panthers

A native of Hawkinsville, Ga., Charles Johnson attended Hawkinsville High School, where he played defensive end in football and forward in basketball for the Red Devils. His impressive athleticism was easily seen, and he went on to the University of Georgia to pursue football. As a student-athlete, he studied child and family development while continuing as a defensive end for the Bulldogs. In 2007, Charles signed with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL.

In his rookie season, Charles saw playing time in three games, two of which were starts, after starting the season on the inactive list for the first 13 games. He posted two tackles that season. In 2008 and 2009, he notched 4.0 and 6.0 sacks, respectively. His 6.0 sacks in 2008 ranked number two on the Panthers. He also had a forced fumble and fumble recovery that season.

Charles started in each of the Panthers’ 16 games in the 2010 season. He marked 11.5 sacks and 27 quarterback pressures. He was also just the 10th player in Carolina Panthers history to have 10 or more sacks in a single season. He notched sacks in six consecutive games, which tied the team record. He ended the season as the team’s number one defensive lineman.

In the 2012 season, Charles ranked second in the NFL with seven forced fumbles and sixth with a career-high 12.5 sacks. He led the Panthers in sacks for the third consecutive season. Under his leadership as one of the league's premier pass-rushers, his team's defensive unit ranked 10th in the NFL and ninth in sacks per pass play this season.

In the 2013 season, Charles and the Panthers went 12-4 in the regular season. Carolina eventually fell to San Francisco in the NFC Divisional Playoff. Charles tallied three solo tackles in the game. As the 2013 NFC South Champions, the Panthers went farther this season than any other Carolina team since 2008. Charles helped the Carolina defense earn a number two overall ranking in the NFL against the run and overall. After tallying 11.0 sacks, he ranked tied for 11th in the NFL in sacks for the season.

Charles and the Panthers reached the playoffs again in 2014, after winning the NFC South. During the regular season, Johnson totaled 8.5 sacks to lead the Panthers in that category for the fourth time in five seasons. He added two more sacks during the Panthers’ Wildcard Playoff win over Arizona. Charles is now second on the Panthers all-time sack leaders list, with 62.5 sacks. He was also tied for 5th among NFL defensive linemen with three forced fumbles in 2014.

In addition, Charles has a passion for philanthropy. This led him to launch the Charles Johnson Foundation in 2012, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for under-served youth to reach their full potential through athletic, recreational, and educational programs and initiatives; and to provide support for single African American mothers through proven programs and initiatives.

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