A 'magic' receiver

Like his namesake, former NBA superstar Earvin ''Magic'' Johnson, UNLV wide receiver Earvin Johnson can perform feats of athleticism that seem downright magical.

The 6-3, 200-pound senior caught 60 passes for 834 yards last season. By comparision, UT's top receiver of 2003, James Banks, caught just 42 balls for 621 yards.

How good is Johnson?

''Here at Tennessee I think we have as good a group of receivers as we've had,'' Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis said this week. ''But he could fit in here and start without a problem.''

Since three freshmen, two redshirt freshmen and three sophomores rank among Tennessee's top 12 defensive backs, the youthful Vol secondary could be in for a long night trying to contain Johnson in Sunday night's opener. The good news, though, is that UT should be able to double-team Johnson since he doesn't have much experience around him.

''They're young at the other receiver positions,'' Chavis said. ''There's not a lot of guys you're going to see on (last season's) tape. But Johnson is a guy who could play anywhere in the country.''

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