With all the question marks surrounding the Texas Longhorns on offense, one player is poised to break out in a big way.
Wide receiver Marcus Johnson had to share time in 2013 with fellow wideouts Mike Davis, Jaxon Shipley and Kendall Sanders. That will change in 2014 as Johnson slides into the starting role with Davis moving on to the NFL. Texas fans should be excited by what the speedy receiver has to offer.
Johnson was fourth on the team in receiving last season. Despite this, fans could see the big play potential in the junior. It all started with a 59-yard touchdown reception against the Oklahoma Sooners. Texas was leading 10-3 in the second quarter when Case McCoy found Johnson streaking down the sideline and hit him in stride for the score. This energized the Texas sideline and helped lift the Longhorns past the Sooners 36-20.
The next week Johnson struck again against the TCU Horned Frogs. At nearly the same point in the second quarter as the Oklahoma game, Johnson hauled in a 65-yard touchdown pass from McCoy to give Texas a 17-7 lead. The Longhorns went on to win the game 30-7.
Johnson is the Longhorns’ vertical threat. He led Texas in yards per catch last season at 15.9. This spring, quarterback Tyrone Swoopes just missed connecting with Johnson on a big play in the annual spring game. It’s safe to say the new coaching staff recognizes the talent Johnson brings.
Texas has questions at quarterback, the offensive line and running back depth. The one position the coaches don’t need to lose sleep over is the wide receiving group. Shipley will still be the possession receiver he has excelled at. Sanders should line up as one of the outside receivers and keep teams from keying on Johnson.
If the Longhorns can find a quarterback this summer and give him time in the pocket, the receivers should post impressive numbers in this offense, especially Johnson.
The sky is the limit for Johnson. He is ready to burst upon the college football scene and write his name into the record books. Before his career is all said and done, Johnson will follow in the footsteps of Roy Williams, Jordan Shipley, Mike Adams and Quan Crosby as the next great receiving legend.