Dec. 8, 2004
ATLANTA–Georgia Tech true freshman wide receiver Calvin Johnson was named Atlantic Coast Rookie of the Year, announced Wednesday by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He is the second straight Yellow Jacket, and the sixth overall, to be selected the league’s top rookie.
The 6-4, 225-pounder from Tyrone, Ga., also made first-team all-ACC, just the 11th true freshman in league history to earn first-team all-conference honors.
Johnson leads the Jackets with 46 catches for 776 yards, both Tech freshman records. He ranks second in the league in receiving yards per game, third in receptions per game and second in touchdown receptions with six. Among all-time ACC freshmen, he ranks second in receiving yards and fourth in receptions.
“Calvin had an outstanding freshman season and made a very big impact on our team, so he’s certainly very deserving of the award,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “He’s very talented, and he works hard at the game, so he is only going to get better.
“To me, the things that make him a special player are the intangibles, not the tangibles. It’s not height, weight, speed, hands. It’s work ethic, it’s attitude, it’s selflessness. He’s a model citizen, and that’s what makes him so valuable to the program.”
Johnson received 81 of a possible 100 votes in the Rookie of the Year balloting to easily outdistance Wake Forest linebacker Johnathan Abbate. Johnson follows Tech quarterback Reggie Ball, who won the award last season. Before Ball, Tech’s last Rookie of the Year was running back Jimy Lincoln in 1991.
“It’s a great honor, especially to have the award here at Georgia Tech two years in a row,” said Johnson.
Gailey added, “I think people recognize that we will play a freshman if he is the best player at that position.”
A first-team Freshman All-America, Johnson ranks second in the nation among freshmen receivers in yards per game despite playing in a run-oriented offense. He was responsible for nearly one-third of Tech’s pass completions and 40 percent of the Jackets’ passing yards and has six of Tech’s 15 touchdown catches. In addition to his 46 catches, he has drawn 10 pass interference or defensive holding penalties.
During the season, Johnson was a four-time of the ACC Rookie of the Week award (Clemson, Duke, Connecticut, Virginia); no other freshman earned the award more than three times this season.
True Freshman Named First-Team All-ACC1975 Ted Brown, RB, NCS1976 Delbert Powell, SP, UNC1976 James McDougald, RB, WF1977 Amos Lawrence, RB, UNC1981 Joe McIntosh, RB, NCS1989 Robert O'Neal, DB, Clem1990 Ronald Williams, RB, Clem1995 Anthony Simmons, LB, Clem2001 Nat Dorsey, OT, GaT2002 T.A. McLendon, TB, NCS2004 Calvin Johnson, WR, GaT