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July 25, 2006

Calvin Johnson Named ACC Pre-Season Excuse Maker of the Year


At ACC Media days it was revealed that Calvin Johnson was named to two pre-season award lists. 76% of the voters named Johnson as pre-season player of the year, and 85% of voters named him Excuse Maker of the Year.

Johnson, the only 9 star recruit in Chan Gailey's tenure at Tech, recently told
When asked who has been his toughest defender thus far, Johnson replies, “Me.” No one else comes close? “Nah,” he says with a chuckle. So is there any defender who can stop you, Calvin? He ponders for a second before responding, “Maybe if you told the guy I was running a go-route, and he stood about 40 yards downfield, then maybe he could stop me.”
That's absolutely correct. No one can stop Calvin Johnson...well except for:
  • Demario Minter - 2 catches for 14 yards against UGA last year

  • Eric Weddle - Utah CB who held CJ to 2 catches for 19 yards

  • GT's Equipment Manager - Who forgot to bring the right cleats to the Emerald Bowl. "Man, it was a nightmare. The field was in terrible condition. We brought the wrong cleats. I couldn’t run a route without slipping," said Johnson.

  • Chan Gailey - who told the AJC "Regardless of how stupid people think I am, I do realize he's one of the best players in the nation and we should be getting him the ball," Gailey said.

  • Reggie Ball - who has a career completion percentage below 50%.

  • And the tooth fairy
So he's totally unstoppable unless you're a quality DB, his head coach, his QB, or his equipment manager. Fair enough.

I think my favorite on that list is the equipment manager excuse. For a school so proud of its educational excellence, they certainly struggle with the basics. Like counting to four, or remembering to wear shoes.

Johnson is a big time talent, but give me a break on the weak smack. If you put the kid in a competent offense, with a decent QB he would put up ridiculous stats. But he had neither of those things. Nor the right shoes.


ht -


Jeff said...

I don't have a problem with some cockiness, especially since Calvin usually has a more humble attitude. The best players know they're the best, and I'd rather have someone overconfident than a receiver who doubts himself on tough catches.

The thing about "the wrong cleats" is entirely ridiculous, though. I hope that was said in a half-serious, "wishing it was the reason" kinda way, but I doubt it. Great players know they're great, but also know how to accept blame. I'd rather hear a Damarius Bilbo, post-Silicon Valley Bowl "I tried to be a hero and lost the game" than a CJ, post-Emerald Bowl "The field was torn up and we had the wrong cleats."

Michael Pigott said...

We've got another T.O. in the making.

Dan said...

Maybe we had an ineligible player in the Emerald Bowl so we can just vacate that one too. I seriously just wish it would go away so I can quit hearing all of the excuses about it.

The truth is that we were not prepared physically, mentally, emotionally, or even apparently logistically to play in that game. As Nathan pointed out afterwards it was a complete team failure from top to bottom.

Anonymous said...

you also forgot, yeah, he did on only have 3 catches for 14 yds. but he had one of his only 7 td's against minter. remember this also, we have nooooooooo other receivers!!!!! he is double and triple covered. imagine what he'll do with another at least good receiver. i mean picture calvin, the number one guy, with a guy like uga's own massaqua or however u spell it! lol. i guess u forgot to mention also that remember last year at the end of the game when blue got called for pass interference on cj in the endzone!!!!!!!!!! yeah that's right he did that so cj would not get a td. but i guess that's what ya gotta do to a guy as good as calvin!!!

Nathan said...

Heck, we probably did have the wrong cleats that game - everything else was so screwed up it wouldn't surprise me. Complete failure by everyone, including CJ.

As for the "Minter shut CJ down" routine, I'm tired of it. CJ has a TD in both GA games, in what were very low scoring affairs. Georgia's pass rush and our inability to block it had far more to do with than anything Minter did. CJ was open a number of times in last year's game where Ball simply couldn't get him the ball. Minter's a fine DB, but CJ has beaten him a number of times - especially around the goal line area.

UGa fans belittling CJ is kind of like GT fans saying anything about Herschel. It just comes off as sour grapes.

p.s - HOORAY for finally have internet again.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why CJ chose Tech? This is not a flame, but why would someone that is the top WR in the nation choose a program where they were the only above 3 star recruit over a several year period? Wouldn't you look to an established program (not just UGA, but USC, TX, OK, etc.) PT surely was not the issue, as he could start anywhere. This is like a Carmelo Anthony-like talent choosing to play BB at UGA right after Harrick was fired.

Unknown said...

It's like asking why was Julie Roberts with Lyle Lovett. Some things have no answer.

Jeff said...

From right after Johnson chose Tech:
"Q: Why did you choose GT?
CJ: I grew up with GT sports. I love GT. I live here. I really like the coaches and the players at GT and the society fits me well.

Q: It is not often that GT and UGAg go head-to-head in recruiting battles. Tell us about the process.
CJ: Both schools recruited me very hard. Actually I like the coaches at UGAg just as much as the ones at GT. In the end, GT was a better fit. The academics are stronger, not to take anything away from UGAg, but GT was just a better fit for me."

Academics can matter in recruiting. UGA is a great school, but Tech still has a better overall academic rep (oftentimes when such a comment is made, Georgia people feel obligated to go "I know a kid who got into Tech and not UGA!" which is surely true, but in overall reputation, GT comes out on top).

Also from the sound of CJ's comments, he felt comfortable close to home and with Atlanta. The A is definitely the hip-hop capital of the Dirty South, and that can be a draw.

Anonymous said...

I'm as sick of the academic superiority argument from the GT contingent as the GT poster appears to be of the argument that Minter shut down CJ. I don't see why some people can't understand they are both good schools which specialize in different fields. I hate Tech, but they have a hell of an engineering program. By the same token, Tech folks should be able to admit that UGA has an excellent business school, biology dept., and post graduate concentrations such as the law school and pharmarcy school, both of which are held in very high esteem. Bottom line...neither school is Auburn.

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing...US News and World Report has ranked UGA in the top 20 public universities for the past several that just a conspiracy? It would appear so, judging by the disdain most Tekkies show towards UGA academics.

82 said...

J. Elmo Fogg, the answer to your question is: his mom.

Where his mom made the mistake however is in that his job out of college is going to be football and the college more 'fit' for him as far as his exposure to that arena was not Tech. While the course load for a 'building constructor' may have fit him better at Tech, his livelihood will be made in football. It was a poor choice in retrospect as far as his development in his profession.

Jmac said...

This was kinda lost in this ... but did Nathan compare Calvin Johnson to Herschel Walker?

Dude, he's pretty good ... but Herschel? Come on.

Still, I happen to think that Minter did a pretty job covering Johnson. He got a touchdown, sure, but that was early in the game and before Minter and the Georgia defense settled into a comfortable scheme.

Reggie Ball may not have gotten the ball to him, but much of that is because Minter played tight coverage. Perhaps Ball should have tried to exploit the height advantage Johnson had, but he didn't do so. So how can you take any credit away from a tough defensive performance?

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

What all Tech fans know way down deep in their hearts is that for all of Calvin Johnson's talent, he'll never be anything more than a historical footnote as long as he's got a knob job like Reggie Ball throwing to him.

With a great QB, Johnson would also be great. Tech might also be great. But without a great QB, Johnson is like the hot girl who's got a really ugly, annoying friend she always hangs out with out of pity. You'd like to ask out the hot girl, but you know you're never going to be able to pry her away from Ugly Friend, so after a while you're like, "Nahhh, man, it's not worth it." Instead, you go hit on the stunning 5'9" blonde in the black tube top and red miniskirt. (Have I taken this too far? Sorry.)

Jeff said...


I wasn't trying to put down UGA academically; Georgia is a great school and has truly blown up since the HOPE scholarship came about, with a greater percentage of GA's top students staying in the University System.

I was just saying, Tech is still higher-ranked, deservedly or not. As was said, CJ's mom likely made him end up at Tech, and a parent is likely to put a lot of weight on stuff like rankings.

Woof Woof said...

Hey "paulwesterdawg", F*#K OFF!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read he has blamed President Bush....Wasn't Bush responsible for Katrina? Cynthia McKinney says so....must be da truff.

Unknown said...

It never fails.

The Tech smack is always the most illiterate and foul mouthed.

It's never even close.

Nathan said...

This was kinda lost in this ... but did Nathan compare Calvin Johnson to Herschel Walker?

Dude, he's pretty good ... but Herschel? Come on.

Calvin Johnson is the best high school player and recruit from the state of Georgia since Herschel, so yes - there is a comparison to be had there. I can almost guarentee he'll have a better NFL career than Herschel did (though that isn't really HW's fault).

If Johnson was on a team that threw the ball more and had a more accurate QB, he's probably sitting in New York at least once and maybe twice for the Heisman presentation. Doubt he could win it, he doesn't return kicks - and no WR without returning kicks ever has.

Johnson chose Tech for academics, and because they had a solid QB situation. Ball was coming off a season where he was the ACC Rookie of the Year and Johnson thought he and Ball would make a great combination for their careers. Nobody knew Ball just wouldn't get better, that's got to frustrate Johnson more than anyone.

You won't find me as one of the Tech fans that denigrates UGa academics, the HOPE has turned it into a fine public university. Tech still has a higher reputation, and with CJ and his mom that certainly hit home. Add that to Atlanta and Tech should be recruiting BETTER than we have been - hopefully the new staff keeps with what's working (they seem to be this year).

Anonymous said...

The best recruit out of GA since HW? Great player, but Calvin was a four star recruit, according to Rivals, and ranked #6 at his position. That is just goofy.

Anonymous said...

No, Woof Woof, you F**K OFF! It's HIS BLOG! he be writin' dis shit. You're weird.

Anonymous said...

"I can almost guarantee he'll have a better NFL career than Herschel did."

Uhhh no. You must not be aware that Herschel still holds the career all-purpose yards record for the NFL. I'd say that's a pretty good career, and something CJ won't accomplish. Herschel had a great NFL career, it was just overshadowed by people expecting him to be the greatest player ever, which he couldn't accomplish because of injuries and wasted time in the USFL.

Nathan said...

Dude, Walker only broke 1000 yards rushing twice in his NFL career ... and only went to two Pro-Bowls. In his NFL career he was basically an average quality RB, but nothing special. I understand red colored glasses and all (heck, mine are solid gold) but you really think CJ won't go to more than 2 Pro Bowls barring injury / drug problems?

Herschel as a college player though? One of the 5 greatest of all time, and certainly in the conversation for #1.

ctrosecrans said...

and herschel was on the winning side of a georgia-georgia tech game

something the guy who had the greatest 2-catch, 14-yard performance in the history of the game hasn't quite managed

and for all it's academic success, tech couldn't teach reggie ball to count to four

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