DEMAREE: Johnson the forgotten man

Of all the information about a possible star or potential Wildcat football playmaker, almost nothing has been written about junior college transfer wide receiver Steve Johnson. Radio sports talk shows and or TV snippets about Johnson have been non-existent.

True, Johnson plays wide receiver and splits out wide and perhaps he's not in the TV screen or fans don't notice him unless he catching ball. Oh, that's right, he wasn't on TV much last season. Perhaps the key block on a good run by a running back goes unnoticed by the untrained eye. For many or all of these reasons, Johnson is the forgotten man.

For most of the season Keenan Burton and Dicky Lyons were frolicking with the football. Other than the Texas State game, Johnson started appearing to others only about the tenth game. Those that recognize and appreciate real playmakers started to say this 6-foot-3, 200-pound guy possesses some talent.

We asked Johnson how he felt about being the forgotten man on the offensive side of the football? "I don't have a problem with it," Johnson said. "I know Keenan is a star and is going to get a lot of balls. I just want to win and if that happens, that will mean I will get to have my moments, too. If I only catch two balls a game and they are impact catches, then I'm happy. I want to sneak up on somebody. I'm plotting a break out."

Coach Joker Phillips said that like a lot of junior college players, there's a period of adjustment and it took a while for Johnson to get it. Johnson had three catches for 34 yards against Texas State, and caught a big 29-yarder for a touchdown against Vanderbilt University. He showed up big in the Music City Bowl game against Clemson University when he made three catches for 67-yards.

Why did Johnson have such a big breakout game against Clemson? "You sensed it going into the last three games," Phillips said. "In the week in preparation for Clemson, we sat Keenan Burton down for a couple practices. This gave Stevie an opportunity to establish some things. Also, we were preparing for life after Keenan because we didn't know what he was going to do.

Is Johnson ready to step up and make an impact? Phillips believes so – "No question he's ready to step and make an impact! He will make the same type of impact Dicky (Lyons) did. Dicky exploded upon the scene as a big play man and Johnson will do the same thing." Phillips thinks Johnson will play on Sundays.

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