Junior college wide receiver Eddie Johnson (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro College), at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, looks more like a middle linebacker than a receiver -- until you watch him show off his speed and run routes. Few his size can run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds.
Size tends to attract the college coaches for Johnson, a Midlothian, Texas, product who signed with Baylor out of high school. What keeps the coaches interested is the fact that Johnson is a player who has solid hands and impressive speed for a big receiver.
“A lot of coaches about my speed,” Johnson said. “I had one coach question my speed, and I told him, ‘If you think I’m slow, just come out to one of our practices. He did, and he left with a smile on his face.”
Johnson went from a Baylor signee to a conference-champion wide receiver. His appreciation for juco ball heightened significantly on Saturday, as Navarro dominated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, 62-24, to win the Southwestern Junior College Football Conference postseason title. Johnson caught four passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
Navarro, with the win, improved to 9-2 on the year, claimed its third consecutive SWJCFC postseason title and finished No. 5 in the final NJCAA poll. Everything that Johnson has promised on a junior college level has come to fruition, as he is a better player for competing in a very talented conference -- one that includes three teams ranked among the top 11 nationally.
“It’s been a great experience. I can say the most exciting thing has been meeting different people,” Johnson said. “When I came to juco, I didn’t think there would be this much talent. It’s a grind-hard experience, and it made me a better player.”
Navarro will next prepare for bowl competition in December. After that, Johnson will focus solely on recruiting. He has an offer from Florida Atlantic and strong interest from Arkansas and Arizona State. Johnson added that Baylor also is still in the mix.
“My quarterback goes there, and he told me the coaches still want me,” said Johnson, referring to Baylor reserve quarterback Bryce Petty, who was a high school teammate of Johnson’s at Midlothian. “I’ve opened my recruiting back up. Baylor’s still on the list, but I’m looking for new opportunities.”