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Calvin Johnson. Calvin Johnson, Jr. was born to Calvin and Arica Johnson on September 29, 1985 in Newnan, Georgia. A big boy, Calvin was 6 feet tall in middle school, and 6 feet 4 inches in the 10th grade. At Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Georgia he was a football and baseball standout. In football, he started at wide receiver three years. His sophomore year, he made 34 receptions for 646 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 40 passes for 736 yards and eight touchdowns. He was honored on October 22, 2010, when the school retired his number 81.
Coming out of high school Calvin was highly rated by virtually every recruiting analyst. Rivals.com rated him number 1 in Georgia and 37 in the entire country. He decided to go to Georgia Tech where he played for Yellow Jackets coach Chan Gailey from 2004 to 2006. One of the greatest Georgia Tech player of all time, Johnson had 178 career receptions, good for 2,927 yards and 28 touchdowns. He ranks first in school history in career receiving yards, second in receptions, first in touchdown receptions, and first in career 100-yard receiving games with 13. He earned All ACC honors and was the 2006 ACC Player of the year. In 2005, he was named first team all-american. Against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2006 Toyota Gator Bowl, in a losing effort, Calvin had nine catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
On January 8, 2007, Calvin Johnson declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft, bypassing his senior season at Georgia Tech. He was widely regarded as the best athlete to come out of the draft and was the #1 player on most draft boards. Johnson was declared by ESPN to be ready to produce in the NFL, much like receiver Randy Moss was as a rookie. In a mid-February workout with speed and conditioning coach Mark Pearsall, Johnson clocked a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, recorded an 11-foot standing broad jump, and had a vertical leap of 43 inches. At the combine, he wowed scouts with his jump drill results, his receiving skills, and his 11 ft 7 in (3.53 m) broad jump. And, he posted a 4.35 40 yard dash at a March 15 workout at Georgia Tech.
Calvin was selected by the Detroit Lions as the second pick overall in the 2007 NFL Draft having been passed over by the Oakland Raiders who used their number one pick on JaMarcus Russell. Remember him? The second pick was the highest a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket was ever drafted. The Lions were expected to trade Johnson, most likely to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the team announced that they had decided to keep him. The next day, the Detroit Tigers invited him to throw out the first pitch.
After holding out for eight days, on August 3, 2007, Calvin signed a six-year deal with the Detroit Lions worth up to $64 million, with $27.2 million in guaranteed money. He passed his physical in time to be on the field for the start of that morning's practice. At the time, the contract made Calvin Johnson the highest-paid player in Lions history and the highest-paid receiver (in guaranteed money) in the NFL.
Johnson had an impressive NFL debut on Sunday, September 9, 2007, catching 4 passes for 70 yards and his first career touchdown in Detroit's 36–21 win over the Oakland Raiders. Johnson finished the 2007 season with 756 yards and 5 total touchdowns.
His nickname "Megatron", was given to him by former Lions wide receiver Roy Williams who was comparing him to a Transformers character. The name caught on with fans.
On March 14, 2012, Johnson signed an eight-year, $132 million contract extension with the Lions, one of the largest sports contracts ever.
Calvin retired in March of 2016 after a stellar nine-year career. Just 30 years old, the former first-round pick admitted recently that the Lions' struggles played a part in his decision to leave the game.1
Johnson holds a host of NFL and franchise records. Among them are these:
- Most receiving yards in a single season: 1,964 yards (2012)
- First NFL player in history to have consecutive seasons with at least 1,600 yards receiving (2011, 2012)
- Seasons with 1,600 yards receiving (2) - tied with Marvin Harrison and Torry Holt
- Most consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards (8)
- Most consecutive games with at least 10 receptions (4)
- Most 100 receiving yard games in a single season (11) - tied with Michael Irvin
- Most consecutive games with at least 2 receiving touchdowns (4, tied with Cris Carter)
- Most receiving yards in a four-quarter game in NFL history (329 yards)
- Most career games with 200+ receiving yards (5, tied with Lance Alworth)
- Fastest to 10,000 NFL receiving yards (115 games)
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