(STATS) - James Madison running back Cardon Johnson has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA, assuring the FCS power of again having one of the deeper running back units in the nation.
Coach Mike Houston announced on Thursday that Johnson recently received a medical hardship waiver. Johnson was sidelined by a torn Achilles after three games last season - the third time he has faced such an injury.
"It was the right thing to do by the NCAA for a guy who's had as many hardships as he has," Houston said. "We all understand that Cardon wants to finish his career on a higher note than an injury like last year, so it was a good move by the NCAA and for Cardon, and we're excited to see what this year holds for him."
Johnson, a native of Newport News, Virginia, also missed the 2014 season and then the final six games of James Madison's national championship season in 2016. He was the Dukes' leading rusher when he was injured against Norfolk State last September.
In 24 career games, he has rushed 312 times for 2,088 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. He needs 231 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to move into JMU's all-time top 10 in both categories.
James Madison, the 2017 national runner-up, also will return senior running backs Marcus Marshall and Trai Sharp, last year's team leaders with 850 and 759 rushing yards, respectively.