Editor’s note: This story appeared on a special “Peach” page in the sports section of Friday’s Star Tribune. Pick up any edition of Friday’s paper to check it out.
A lustrous career in the National Football League is surely in store for this native son, with his ankle-breaking agility and hands sticky as if he coated his palms in Dippity-Do before stepping on to the TCF Bank Stadium field. But first, this former Polar must help his unvanquished Gophers past mighty Penn State on Saturday.
Those Nittany Lions are second in the country at foiling the rush, their roar allowing only 547 yards per contest on the turf. That could give the Gophers’ star receiver open looks with eyes toward the end zone. And he’ll have help, from the undersized-but-no-longer-overlooked Tanner Morgan at quarterback and a merry band of fellow pass-catchers, including Georgia peach Rashod Bateman, another wideout with professional prospects.
But Johnson is the main attraction. A big brother of six children to his happy parents and a senior on this Gophers team, the Minneapolis Marvel is a role model to his family, his teammates and an entire city.