Johnny Johnson III
Wide Receiver - 6’0”, 198 lb. - Chandler, AZ - Senior
In what many would look at as a rebuild season, senior wide receiver Johnny Johnson III leads a young receiving corps as Oregon’s top passing option. An offense largely comprised of new starters is bound to go through a feeling-out period; as the Ducks build chemistry, Johnson will be Oregon’s No. 1 target in first-year offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s new offense.
There are a lot of questions surrounding 2020’s season and its expectations, but Johnson should remain a constant for Duck fans to rely on. If Johnson can progress from his breakout 2019 season, Oregon could have its 12th 1,000 yard receiver in program history.
Johnson’s junior season was the definition of breakout. From sophomore to junior, Johnson nearly quadrupled his total yards in a single season. With the departure of Dillon Mitchell, Johnson quickly filled the void as Justin Herbert’s top threat in the passing game.
In 14 games Johnson led the Ducks with 836 yards and seven touchdown, averaging 14.7 YPR. He finished eighth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards and seventh in touchdowns, and one of seven FBS players with 10 catches, 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a single game. Johnson’s one-of-seven performance came against the Sun Devils Week 11 in the 31-28 upset loss. In the loss Johnson set new career bests in yards and receptions.
Year two for the young Duck started about as well as any second-year receiver can hope for, connecting with the end-zone in three straight games. By Week 4, the sophomore wideout had already scored four touchdowns making him one of three Pac-12 players with a receiving touchdown in each of the first three games. But a handful of drops combined with improved competition resulted in a drop off for Johnson, who didn’t record a touchdown the rest of the season. His touchdown receptions turning into second and third-down receptions. Johnson finished with 215 yards and four touchdowns averaging 12.6 YPR.
Dating back to his freshman season, Johnson has appeared in all 40 games since 2017. As a freshman, Johnson started in 10 of Oregon’s 13 games and brought in receptions in each of his first six. Arguably his top performance in his first year came in Week 2 against Nebraska where he totaled four receptions for 80 yards in the 42-35 home victory. As a freshman, Johnson totaled more yards receiving as a Duck than as a sophomore. In 13 games played he averaged 14.2 YPR and finished just a yard shy of 300 receiving yards on the season. His lone touchdown of the year came against Arizona State Week 4.
A part of Chandler’s 6A state championship team as a senior the three-star recruit totaled 77 receptions for 1,274 yards and eight touchdowns. Johnson III wasn’t the most highly-recruited wide receiver, but was ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in Arizona coming out of high school. In 2016, Johnson notched five 100-plus yard games as a receiver with a top performance of 10 reception for 145 yards and two touchdowns.