Covering Calvin an opprotunity for Dawgs

Dawg Post Repoter
Posted Nov 23, 2006

ATHENS – Although Calvin Johnson has made no public comment, it’s widely assumed the Georgia Tech wide receiver is playing his final season.

That’s fine with Georgia coach Mark Richt.

“I hope it’s coming quick,” Richt said of the end of Johnson’s collegiate career. “I really believe he’s the first wide receiver to be picked in the draft, so if I was him, I’d be out of there. Sorry Chan (Gailey), I didn’t mean to say that.”

Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound reigning All-American, has 57 catches for 886 yards and 13 touchdowns this year. Those numbers have been compiled while playing with quarterback Reggie Ball, who has a career completion percentage of less than 50 percent. Many Georgia fans have wondered what Johnson could have done playing with Bulldog quarterbacks David Greene, D.J. Shockley and Matthew Stafford.

Richt tried very hard to make that happen.

“We had the ultimate (recruiting) interest in him,” Richt said. “We tried to get him as hard as we’ve tried to get anybody. There was no doubt about what we thought he could do. He was a national blue chip in that he had it all, grades, ability and character.”

Georgia’s coaches don’t spend a lot of time wondering what might have been, though.

“The ones that hurt you the most are the ones where you think, ‘Well, we’re going to take this guy over him, or we’re not going to offer him (a scholarship). The guys you bleed for you’re like, ‘Hey, we did everything we could. We just didn’t get him.’”

Johnson has yet to burn the Bulldogs. He had two catches for 14 yards and a touchdown last year and five catches for 44 yards and no touchdowns as a freshman. Still, Georgia junior cornerback Paul Oliver is expecting a busy day.

“I think anyone who covers Calvin, it’s a showcase game for them because everyone knows whenever he leaves, he’s going to be one of the top picks,” Oliver said. “Everyone seems to love him.”

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