LEXINGTON, Ky. — Garrett Johnson’s career has had a quiet success about it. So quiet, yet so successful, that even he’s surprised about his rise in the Kentucky receiving record books.
“It’s kind of just hitting me in silence, just kinda catching me off guard,” Johnson said after a recent practice.
The senior receiver from Winter Garden, Fla., is fourth on Kentucky’s all-time receiving yards list behind Craig Yeast, Keenan Burton and Derek Abney. Johnson has 46 catches for 500 receiving yards this season, his third consecutive season with more than 500 yards.
For his career, he has 153 catches, 2,050 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
“He’s reliable,” coach Mark Stoops said. “A lot of his catches throughout this year are critical third downs. He still could make explosive plays. He’s been steady. He’s really taken a lot of steps to be a leader in the wide receiver room. I’ve just been impressed with him and I really appreciate him. He does fly under the radar sometimes because he’s a very good football player.”
Those 153 catches are the fifth-most by a Kentucky player. Johnson is one spot ahead of Randall Cobb in that category and ahead of other former stars like Dicky Lyons Jr. and Jacob Tamme.
Johnson has 30 more catches than any of his teammates this season and he’s Kentucky’s leading receiver by a large margin.
“I feel like my season has been pretty consistent with whatever is coming at me,” Johnson said. “I know my stats, they’re not terrific, but they’re doable. They’re good enough for us to win. I guess that’s all I’m really worried about now, continuing to win.”
Kentucky is 7-4, and with a win over Louisville on Saturday, the Wildcats would reach eight regular-season wins for the first time since 1984. Saturday is both a rivalry game and Senior Day for Johnson.
“All the ups and downs, just like the different experiences that I’ve come across being here — senior day — that’ll be a lot of reflecting,” Johnson said.
Garrett Johnson’s year-by-year numbers
2017: 46 catches, 500 yards, 10.87 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns
2016: 39 catches, 585 yards, 15 yards per catch, 5 touchdowns
2015: 46 catches, 694 yards, 15 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns
2014: 22 catches, 271 yards, 12 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns
Kentucky career receiving yardage leaders
1. Craig Yeast: 2,899
2. Keenan Burton: 2,376
3. Derek Abney: 2,339
4. Garrett Johnson: 2,050
5. Dicky Lyons, Jr.: 1,752
6. Quentin McCord: 1,743
7. La’Rod King: 1,706
8. Randall Cobb: 1,661
9. Anthony White: 1,520
10. Felix Wilson: 1,508