Former Vol Inky Johnson has a story to tell

FARRAGUT, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Inky Johnson. If the name rings a bell, then you probably remember him as a football player at UT. But these days, he's also an author telling his story of overcoming adversity.

On Monday, Johnson did two book signings in the area - one at the ORNL Credit Union on Emory Road in Halls; the other at the Kroger in Farragut. He signed hundreds of copies of his new book "Inky Johnson: An Amazing Story of Faith and Perseverance," with his friend and supporter Eric Berry by his side.

There were at least 350 people who came through to get a copy of his book and have him sign it at ORNL. The same number of fans made their way to Farragut..

"He's just remarkable. It's an amazing story and anybody needs to read it," said Vols fan Nicole O'Dell.

The former Vol defensive back wrote the book after a devastating injury ended his NFL hopes. It was a September 2006 game with Air Force.

"When you go through things in life, you can look at it two ways. You can look at it negatively or positively and you can use it to help people," Johnson said.

Helping people to overcome adversity is johnson's new assignment, he says. A plan designed by God.

"No matter what life throws at you it will come to pass. I just want people to realize the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11. It talks about God has plans for everybody to prosper and give him a hope and future no matter what happens to them and not to harm them. I keep it with me on my dog tag. Keep it with me. It keeps perspective," said Johnson.

Berry who played with Johnson at UT is now a Kansas City Chief. He says Johnson is an inspiration to him.

"I feel like the book can touch anybody on any level. Whether you're 11, 12, a teenager, my age or a senior citizen," Berry said. "On a college level, I feel like he had a lot to do with my success as far as a mental level and how to prepare myself to get ready for the next level, and how to be a good person."

It's a lesson Johnson hopes others can use.

"He makes me have a lot of courage and helped me in basketball and tell me you can do anything even if your arm is paralyzed," 12-year-old Connor Arnold said.

As for Johnson, his injury has paralyzed his right hand. But he uses his left to sign autographs with just fine.

"When it happened to me i'm not bitter about it, I don't regret it. I know God has other plans for my life and they're greater."


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