Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson is entering Ron Johnson and Eric Decker territory

Tyler Johnson leads the Big Ten and is seventh in the nation in receiving yards.
Author:

The college football season is two weeks old and Gophers sophomore wide receiver Tyler Johnson leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh nationally with 268 receiving yards. 

Head coach P.J. Fleck said the story of Saturday's 48-14 win at Oregon State was the rushing attack, fueled by 93 yards apiece for Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks. But the most exciting player on the field was once against Johnson, who caught a slant at the 50 and raced to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown. 

Johnson had a 61-yard touchdown on a similar catch and run against Buffalo. 

"I think he's getting better and better," said Fleck. "He's almost doubled his career performance in two games. That's a credit to him. He works extremely hard, he's a very selfless player, he's turning into a wonderful leader." 

Minnesota quarterback Conor Rhoda threw the ball eight times on Saturday. Johnson caught four of those eight for 127 yards. 

"The kid comes to work and he comes to play when the lights are on," Rhoda said of Johnson. "His confidence is through the roof right now, and it makes it that much better to throw to somebody who's playing fast like that."

"It's a huge difference for our offense, and that's something we've lacked in recent years, making those big plays," Rhoda added. 

Johnson is worth getting excited about. Fleck told KFAN after Week 1 that Johnson "has all the makings to become a wide receiver like Corey Davis, whom Fleck coached at Western Michigan and was the No. 5 pick in this year's NFL Draft (Davis had 6 catches for 69 yards with the Titans on Sunday). 

With 268 yards and two touchdowns already this season, Johnson is well on his way to putting up one of the Gophers' best wide receiver seasons of the last 20 years. 

  • 2016: Drew Wolitarsky - 66 catches, 860 yards, 5 TD
  • 2015: K.J. Maye - 73 catches, 773 yards, 5 TD
  • 2014: Maxx Williams - 36 catches, 569 yards, 8 TD
  • 2013: Maxx Williams - 25 catches, 425 yards, 5 TD
  • 2012: A.J. Barker - 30 catches, 577 yards, 7 TD
  • 2011: Da'Jon McKnight - 51 catches, 760 yards, 4 TD
  • 2010: Da'Jon McKnight - 48 catches, 750 yards, 10 TD
  • 2009: Eric Decker - 50 catches, 758 yards, 5 TD
  • 2008: Eric Decker - 84 catches, 1,074 yards, 7 TD
  • 2007: Eric Decker - 67 catches, 909 yards, 9 TD
  • 2006: Logan Payne - 59 catches, 804 yards, 9 TD
  • 2005: Ernie Wheelwright - 37 catches, 568 yards, 5 TD
  • 2004: Ernie Wheelwright - 30 catches, 654 yards, 7 TD
  • 2003: Jared Ellerson - 44 catches, 909 yards, 4 TD
  • 2002: Aaron Hosack - 29 catches, 649 yards, 3 TD
  • 2001: Ron Johnson - 56 catches, 898 yards, 9 TD
  • 2000: Ron Johnson - 59 catches, 1,067 yards, 11 TD
  • 1999: Ron Johnson - 43 catches, 574 yards, 7 TD
  • 1998: Luke Leverson - 60 catches, 854 yards, 9 TD
  • 1997: Tutu Atwell - 58 catches, 924 yards, 5 TD

Next Up

Mike Zimmer

Vikings fans clamor for change after latest bad loss under Mike Zimmer

The "fire Mike Zimmer" tweets are raging on Twitter again.

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Alexander Mattison

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on

It's a great time for the Vikings to play the Lions.

covid

Omicron variant confirmed in Wisconsin man who traveled to South Africa

Five other cases have been confirmed and linked to a Wisconsin wedding.

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.

Related

Gophers lose to Michigan State despite Tyler Johnson's monster 4th quarter

The Gophers are tied for last in the Big Ten West division.

Watch: Gophers WR Tyler Johnson is a freaking dude

Johnson is blowing up fast as a big time wide receiver for the Gophers.

Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson dominates as Gophers win Outback Bowl

Johnson put a bow on his historic career at the University of Minnesota.

Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson 'shocked' by reports of character concerns

Johnson spoke with Darren Wolfson earlier this week.

Did Tyler Johnson hint that he'll return for his senior year?

The All-Big Ten wide receiver had a record-breaking season with the Gophers.

Eric Decker is the guest picker for 'College GameDay'

Decker starred for the Gophers from 2006 to 2009.

USC wide receiver Randal Grimes transfers to Gophers

He's 6-foot-4 and is said to have incredible athleticism.

Rashod Bateman

Rashod Bateman cleared by NCAA to play for Gophers this season

Bateman provides a big boost to the Gophers in the Big Ten.