UNI running back David Johnson was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2015 National Football League Draft, picked 86th overall in the third round Friday night (May 1).

Johnson’s third-round pick is the fourth-highest pick for a Panther football player in UNI history. He was the first player from the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) selected this year.

The Clinton, Iowa native gained national attention after his solid senior campaign with UNI, earning him a spot at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. Johnson was one of just 36 running backs at the NFL Combine, representing the MVFC.

At the Senior Bowl, he finished with 10 carries including a statement play to begin the game, rushing for 19 yards into the end zone. During the 2014 season, Johnson shined as one of the top running backs in the FCS and FBS. He broke 15 school records, leading UNI to its 17th playoff appearance in school history.

Several of the school records that Johnson broke this past season were a testament to his ability to be versatile on the field. Johnson is now the UNI record holder for career all-purpose yards, career all-purpose yards per game, average yards per kick return and all-purpose yards in a season.

Johnson, who was not heavily recruited out of high school, has made a name for himself in the state of Iowa and the MVFC. After choosing to go to UNI, Johnson was able to shine for the Panthers all four years that he played.

As a senior, he was named to the AP, Sports Network and Beyond Sports Network All-America teams along with earning the title of College Football Performance Awards All-Purpose Performer of the Year.

He is a four-time MVFC All-Conference honoree, along with finishing runner-up for the MVFC Freshman of the Year Award in and fourth in voting for the Jerry Rice award in 2011.

Johnson is the 17th player and just the second running back in UNI history to make the NFL Draft. The highest pick for UNI and the Missouri Valley was in 2000 when Brad Meester was the 60th selection to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round.

UNI in the Draft:
1966 - Randy Schultz, RB | Cleveland Browns | 5th round, 74th pick
1966 - Doug Korver, OL | Atlanta Falcons | 18th round, 261st pick 1968 - Ray Pedersen, OL/DL | Baltimore Colts | 17th round, 458th pick
1976 - Bill Salmon, QB | Minnesota Vikings | 10th round, 289th pick
1976 - Mike Timmermans, OL | Green Bay Packers | 17th round, 440th pick
1982 - Steve Sandon, QB | New England Patriots | 11th round, 296th pick
1990 - Bryce Paup, LB | Green Bay Packers | 6th round, 159th pick
1991 - James Jones, DL | Cleveland Browns | 3rd round, 57th pick
1993 - Kenny Shedd, WR | New York Jets | 5th round, 129th pick
1997 - Dedric Ward, WR | New York Jets | 3rd round, 88th pick
1999 - Ty Talton, DB | Detroit Lions | 5th round, 137th pick
2000 - Brad Meester, OL | Jacksonville Jaguars | 2nd round, 60th pick
2001 - Eddie Berlin, WR | Tennessee Titans | 5th round, 159th pick
2002 - Ryan Hannam, TE | Seattle Seahawks | 5th round, 169th pick
2008 - Chad Rinehart, OL | Washington Redskins | 3rd round, 96th pick
2008 - Brandon Keith, OL | Arizona Cardinals | 7th round, 225th pick
2015 - David Johnson, RB |Arizona Cardinals | 3rd round, 86th pick