It doesn’t happen often when an athlete is accurately described as a “complete package,” a term often overused and overly hyped. Size, speed and high character are words not often used in the same sentence when describing today’s athletes.
But not Calvin Johnson.
The former Georgia Tech wide receiver and new Detroit Lion has everything football teams look for when scouting a player. Johnson stands 6-5 and weighs 238 pounds, but his size doesn’t slow him down. He runs a 4.35 40-yard dash and has a vertical leap of 47.5 inches.
What’s best of all about Johnson, however, is not his size or speed. Sure, those qualities in a receiver are phenomenal, but they can’t top his character. His attitude is refreshing, especially when most of today’s athletes seem to be more interested in big paydays than helping out the less fortunate.
Johnson – a business management major – was given an option last summer when choosing a school project. He could either work on environmentally friendly luxury condos or solar-powered latrines to improve sanitation in Bolivia. He chose to help build the latrines in Bolivia, because he wanted to help the less fortunate. That decision goes hand in hand with descriptions that teammates and competitors give of Johnson as a quiet, humble guy who never seems to get himself in trouble on or off the field.
On the field, Johnson dominated for three years as a Yellow Jacket. As a freshman, he won First-Team All-American honors and was voted Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year. As a junior, he won ACC Player of the Year, was named Best Wide Receiver in the nation by IGN.com and won the Biletnikoff Award (given to the best receiver in college football). Johnson was named First-Team All-ACC all three years at Georgia Tech.
In early January 2006, Johnson declared himself eligible for April’s NFL Draft, foregoing his senior season. He was the second overall pick behind Louisiana State University quarterback JarMarcus Russell and will start his NFL career in Detroit.
Johnson proved to be hit and miss during his rookie campaign. At times he flashed the skills that made him the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. But there were too many times when he didn't make an impact and struggled with nagging injuries. Heading into 2008, he'll work with a new offensive coordinator after Mike Martz was fired by Detroit and hired by San Francisco.
Information sites on Johnson
Detroit Lions Official Player Bio: Calvin Johnson
Career notes, photos and stats on Calvin Johnson can be found at the Official Website of the Detroit Lions.
NFL.com Player Profile: Calvin Johnson
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Calvin Johnson at NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Calvin Johnson
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Calvin Johnson for your fantasy football team.
Calvin Johnson Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Calvin Johnson's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Check out this video montage of Calvin Johnson’s playing days at Georgia Tech.
Latest on Johnson:
Johnson had an up and down rookie season. He did flash brillance at times, but too often he seemed to vanish on the field. He finished with 48 catches for 756 yards and four touchdowns, which certainly aren't bad numbers for a rookie wide out, but certainly nothing earth-shattering.
Diving up Calvin Johnson on the web
Calvin Johnson lighting up Lions expectations
Rookie first round pick Calvin Johnson is already making quite an impression on the Lions.
It's time to get Johnson more involved
MLive.com columnist Brian VanOchten is calling for Mike Martz and the Lions to get rookie first round pick Calvin Johnson more involved in the offense.
Lions select Calvin Johnson with 2nd pick
After months of speculation regarding the Lions second overall pick, they settled for one of the best wide receiver prospects to ever enter the NFL Draft.
Thrilled in Allen Park
For GM Matt Millen and the Detroit Lions, drafting wide receiver Calvin Johnson was an easy decision.
Johnson ‘no-brainer’ for Lions’ pick
Even though previous wide receivers Charles Rogers and Mike Williams were huge busts, the Lions’ selection of Calvin Johnson was still a no-brainer in the eyes of GM Matt Millen.
On adjusting to the pro game:
"The speed of the game is stepped up, but I believe I've adjusted to that, so I'd say the playbook. It's a lot more complicated than what we had in college."
On his role models:
"My parents, Arica and Calvin. They set a great example for me at a young age with the way they went out and worked to provide for me and my siblings."
On his NFL dream:
"Not just getting to the Super Bowl but winning. It wouldn't matter if I was the MVP, as long as we won."