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Jordan Johnson’s uncle talks about family’s challenges

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Aug 30 2012 03:13:09 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 28 2012 09:44:50 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The uncle of suspended Griz quarterback Jordan Johnson offers a peek inside Johnson's family as they struggle with the criminal charges he faces.

Prosecutors accused Johnson of raping a friend, and he pleaded not guilty to the charge. University of Montana officials tell us Johnson’s still a student for the fall semester. They can’t say whether he’s attended classes this week. Though one thing is clear, allegations of rape have hit his family hard.

“Anybody that knows Jordy knows what a great kid he is,” said Jordan’s uncle Lane Johnson.

It's not easy for Lane to talk about the crime his nephew's accused of. “You know Jordy's like a son to me.”

But their relationship extends beyond those family ties. Lane coaches football at Sheldon High School in Eugene, OR. He and Jordan's father Marty coached Jordan as quarterback in 2009 when the team won the State Championship.

"I couldn't do any of this without my teammates…it's an unbelievable experience," said Jordan in 2009 after the win.

But the days of winning have been put on hold. Johnson's still suspended from the Griz.

While his Uncle Lane is confident in what's to come, “I truly believe in my heart that everything is going to work out okay.”

For now, things are rough. “But I would obviously be lying to you if I said it wasn't weighing on our family,” said a tearful Lane.

In Jordan’s court case, we're currently waiting for his attorneys to file a reply brief, after just last week prosecutors demanded that the judge take the case to trial.

A response from Johnson's attorneys is expected this week.

You can watch the full interview with Jordan's uncle here.