Former NFL running back Andy Johnson dies at 65

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Former Patriots running back Andy Johnson died early Wednesday morning after a long illness. He was 65.

The Patriots made him a fifth-round pick in 1974 out of Georgia. He spent eight seasons with New England before finishing his pro career with the USFL’s Boston Breakers in 1983.

Johnson rushed for 2,017 yards and 13 touchdowns on 491 carries in his Patriots’ career. He also caught 161 passes for 1,807 yards and nine touchdowns.

His best season came in 1976 when he had 1,042 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 touchdowns.

Johnson was a star quarterback in college, leading Georgia to two bowl victories and setting the SEC career record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,799. He also competed on the Georgia baseball team.

Johnson’s survivors include his wife Charlotte and three children, Kristy, Brent and Brooke. A visitation is scheduled Saturday from 3-5 p.m. ET at Bernstein Funeral Home in Athens, Ga., with a graveside service set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens, Ga.