Florida State Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher dismissed freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson from the team Monday night, hours after the state’s attorney’s office released video showing Johnson punching a woman in the face last month at a Tallahassee bar.
Fisher made the announcement in a brief statement released by FSU on Monday night.
Johnson, who was named Florida’s “Mr. Football” as a senior at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida, was indefinitely suspended from the team in June. He was charged with misdemeanor battery for striking the 21-year-old woman during an argument June 24. He surrendered to Tallahassee police on June 30 and was released on $500 bond.
The video, which was captured by security cameras in a bar near the FSU campus, shows Johnson trying to push past the woman, who was waiting to order at the bar. The woman turned toward Johnson, who grabbed her right arm after she raised it in a fist. The woman raised her knee and swung at Johnson with her left arm, and then he punched her in the face.
According to the Tallahassee Police Department incident report, the woman, an FSU student, suffered bruising near her left eye, swelling of the left cheek and upper lip, and a small cut near the bridge of her nose.
State’s attorney Willie Meggs, who decided to charge Johnson after seeing video of the incident, said the woman still had a black eye when he met with her last week.
Johnson’s family has retained prominent criminal defense and trial attorney Jose Baez, who is best known for obtaining an acquittal in the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando.
“While it is clear from the video that De’Andre Johnson was not the initial aggressor, his family wants to take the lead in helping him learn and grow from this experience,” Baez said Monday in a statement. “He is currently participating in community service and faith-based programs focused on battered women, substance abuse and the empowerment of children.
“De’Andre is extremely embarrassed by this situation and would like to express his heartfelt apologies to everyone, including those who were directly affected, Coach Fisher and his teammates, the entire Florida State University community, as well as his family and friends.”
Johnson, who enrolled at FSU in January after graduating early from high school, wasn’t thought to be a contender for the Seminoles’ starting job this coming season. Junior Sean Maguire and Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson, who enrolled at FSU this summer, are believed to be the top choices to replace 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who was the No. 1 pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April’s NFL draft.
Freshman Deondre Francois of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, also joined FSU’s quarterback competition this summer. He was ranked the country’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback and No. 42 overall prospect in the ESPN 300.
Johnson was ranked the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback as a senior. He passed for 3,710 yards and 47 touchdowns while running for 398 yards and nine scores the past season, as he led First Coast High to a 12-1 record. He finished his prep career with 11,697 total yards.
Source: ESPN Sports Seminoles dismiss QB De’Andre Johnson after video