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Collin Johnson emerged as a threat for Texas in 2OT loss to USC

The sophomore burst onto the national radar with his big performance against USC.

NCAA Football: Texas at Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With his performance against the USC Trojans, sophomore wide receiver Collin Johnson showed the world why he was a coveted talent coming out of Valley Christian High School in San Jose, California.

As a four-star prospect, Johnson held offers from the top programs in the country, including all three major California programs. Ultimately, Johnson chose to follow his father’s footsteps and play alongside his brother, running back Kirk Johnson, at Texas.

Used sparingly in his freshman campaign, Johnson is emerging as a favorite target of the Texas quarterbacks in his second season, and serves as a safety valve for freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger as he tries to find his way in the Texas backfield.

“It’s great to know he’s there,” Ehlinger said after Texas’s 27-24, double-overtime loss to No. 4 USC. “Collin Johnson is a hall of famer. Everyone knows that and he’ll be a first round draft pick, no doubt in my mind.”

It’s easy to understand why the freshman quarterback speaks so highly of Johnson.

The 6-foot-6 receiver exploited his size advantage over the USC secondary – their tallest defensive back is still four inches shorter than Johnson – en route to a historic performance. Johnson finished the night with 191 yards on seven receptions, good enough for the fourth-best performance in school history.

With this level of production early in the season, Johnson could cement his place among the top performers in school history.

Through the first three games of the season, Johnson has amassed 366 receiving yards, putting him at No. 13 nationally, one yard behind Big 12-leading, and future NFL first round selection James Washington from Oklahoma State.

If Johnson can keep up this pace, he will finish the season with 1,464 yards, good enough for the second-best season in school history, ahead of names like Roy Williams and Quan Cosby.

Johnson’s success in the passing game will be vital to the Longhorns throughout conference play, as five of the nation’s top 15 scoring offenses reside in the Big 12.