UW Saturday Report
This week as the #22 Washington Huskies (5-1,3-0) travel to the #7 Stanford Cardinal (6-0,4-0) the offensive stars in this game will be the focus. Well in this post I’ll focus on a Huskies receiver who busted onto the scene as a freshman only to be forgotten all about as a sophomore to producing once again for the Huskies.
I’m talking about junior wide receiver James Johnson from Valley Center, California.
Johnson came to Washington as a true freshman in the 2009 season. In his very first game a night game on ESPN against LSU a star was born. Johnson caught his first career pass which went for a touchdown to give the Huskies a 7-3 lead.
Although the Huskies lost Johnson finished the game with six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. Johnson would follow that game up with another touchdown the following week as the Huskies snapped their program worse 15 game losing streak. Johnson finished the season with 39 receptions for 422 yards with three touchdowns.
He was the teams leading receiver through the first eight games but hit a freshman wall as he ended the season with just four receptions for 38 yards in the teams final four games.
Heading into his sophomore season Johnson had came into the year with injuries. Johnson sophomore year was a total disaster has he had just one reception for three yards. He has more false starts (2) than receptions (1).
With the Huskies returning both starting receivers and bringing in a five star recruit at wide receiver it appeared Johnson was going to be lost in the shuffle.
Most including myself figured Johnson would be a guy who transfers during the year because he couldn’t crack the rotation.
Thankfully, Johnson didn’t transfer and is having a great season. For the year Johnson has 22 receptions for 287 yards (13.0 YPC) with three touchdowns.
Johnson also had a breakout game in the third game of the season against Nebraska where he had six receptions for 108 yards with two touchdowns.
Younger kids at programs should take notes from Johnson.
Washington football Head Coach Steve Sarkisian will play you if you are the best regardless of age or your star rating. Johnson emerged as the number one guy as a freshman, to being burried as a sophomore to being the number three receiver on the team now.
Johnson has worked his tail off to be back in the rotation and next season he’ll be asked to be the number one receiver.
For Johnson and for right now the goal is to step up in the big games like he did as a freshman against LSU. Like he did this year against Nebraska on ABC.
For the Huskies to win their passing attack which includes Johnson will have to have a big game.