There is a lot of attention pointed at Texas Longhorns wide receiver Collin Johnson heading into 2019. Everything from school records, NFL Draft status, and a chance to help bring Texas back could all vie for his attention.
For him, however, the biggest concern is getting a talented young group of receivers ready for 2019 and beyond.
“Brennan [Eagles], Malcolm [Epps] all these big big guys, I always tell them ‘Y’all can be better than me,’” Johnson said to the media during post-practice availability. “They’re always talking about ‘Collin you’re good at this and good at that,’ but I always try to equip them with the tools to be great, that’s all I can do.”
From the day the new receivers showed up on campus, Johnson took the time to encourage and invest his experience in them. The other players on the team took notice and that level of leadership is the reason his teammates elected him a team captain.
It wasn’t just the players that noticed his leadership — the coaching staff sees Johnson as a culture-setter for them in the locker room.
“Colin has an unbelievable work-ethic and is kind of a self-made guy these last three years,” head coach Tom Herman said. “He’s been a guy that’s been a lead by example guy and he rarely is the rah-rah guy at practice, but he does a lot of his leading one-on-one on a personal level.”
The Texas wide receiver group is arguably deeper than its been in the last 10 years and is loaded with young talent — 13 of the 16 players listed on the roster are freshmen and sophomores.
With a leader and a captain in the room like Johnson, the foundation is laid for the future of wide receivers at the University of Texas.
“That dude is a pro and he’s going to be a pro, it’s going to be hard to back up [his faith in the young receivers],” redshirt freshman Malcolm Epps said. “But he’s the most unselfish player I’ve ever been around. He wants us to be better than him.”
Johnson not only has a chance to leave his mark in the locker room, but in the record books, as well. He already sits at No. 9 on the Longhorns’ all-time list for career receptions and receiving yards and needs just two touchdown receptions to crack the top 10 in that category, too. If Johnson’s production lives up to expectations, he could finish his career, statistically, as one of the greatest receivers in school history, and that may very well become quite clear on the field before it’s all said and done.
In spite of all of that, Johnson seemingly has blinders on in order to make his last season impactful.
“I haven’t seen anything. I deleted my Twitter app and Instagram app, right now I’m just focused on ball,” Johnson said. “Obviously I hear some stuff from certain people, but I don’t pay that any attention. It’s my last year at UT and I just want to give everything I’ve got to this program.”