GT's Johnson is 2006 ACC Player of the Year


Posted Nov 29, 2006


Calvin Johnson was the runaway choice as preseason player of the year for the Atlantic Coast Conference. He had no problem living up to the hype.

The junior wide receiver had another big season for Georgia Tech, ranking among the nation's leaders in touchdown catches for a team that's preparing to play for the league championship. The series of big performances made him the easy pick as The Associated Press league player of the year for 2006.

Johnson received 66 of 80 votes from members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association in results released Wednesday. Clemson's Gaines Adams, the league's defensive player of the year, was second with six votes while Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan was third with five.

With the No. 23 Yellow Jackets (9-3, 7-1) preparing to play No. 16 Wake Forest in the ACC title game, Johnson is more focused on this weekend's contest and preparing for a bowl game than the award.

"I have to give credit to my teammates and coaches," he said. "Any time you win individual awards, you have to have a great team around you. We achieved one of our goals by making it to Jacksonville, but we still have more that we want to accomplish."

Not that Johnson hasn't already accomplished more than enough this year. In the type of season that has become commonplace for him, Johnson has 59 catches for 899 yards while ranking third in the country with a school-record 13 touchdowns.

Johnson ranks third in school history with 2,624 yards receiving and fifth with 161 receptions. He already holds school records with 26 career TD catches and 11 100-yard receiving games.

This season, he was named the league's offensive back of the week four times and was the only unanimous selection on the all-ACC team released Monday -- making him the first three-time all-ACC first-team pick in school history.

"I've produced more this year than I did my previous two years, so I consider that a success," Johnson said. "I'm striving for good games in those last two games and then I'll rate my season."

All that production comes in a 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame that boasts 4.3 speed and a 45-inch vertical jump. His ability to stretch the field helped a Georgia Tech offense that ranked among the league's best, ranking third with 324.2 total yards per game and fourth with 25.7 points.

"This is a guy that has the ability to not only out jump you, but he's got the chance to run past you," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "That's always your worst nightmare.

"You can feel like you played him pretty good and not realize that you've not only given up quite a few yards, but some points. That's what he brings to their offense. He gives them a chance to, on any snap, get you.


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