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ECU’s C.J. Johnson named to 2020 Biletnikoff Award watch list

Former D.H. Conley and current ECU wide receiver
East Carolina's C.J. Johnson, right, runs the ball after a catch with Cincinnati's Darrick Forrest (5) pursuing during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
East Carolina's C.J. Johnson, right, runs the ball after a catch with Cincinnati's Darrick Forrest (5) pursuing during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)(WITN)
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 9:40 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:13 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (ECU) – ECU sophomore C.J. Johnson is one of 55 receivers named to the 2020 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch list, according to an announcement by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club (TQC) Foundation, Inc., Thursday.

Since 2006, ECU receivers have been included on the Biletnikoff Award Watch List on 11 occasions. Johnson’s selection follows Trevon Brown (2018), Jimmy Williams (2017), Zay Jones (2015-16), Justin Hardy (2012-14), Lance Lewis (2011), Dwayne Harris (2010) and Aundrae Allison (2006). In 2016, Jones became the first Pirate to be named a finalist for the prestigious award.

Johnson, a 2019 Football Writers Association of America-Shaun Alexander Freshman All-America Team pick, set an ECU rookie record with a team-leading 908 reception yards, while also topping the unit with a 16.8 yards-per-catch average, a 75.7 yards-per-game clip and four 100-yard receiving outings. His reception (54) and touchdown catch (four) totals stood second among all Pirate receivers.

The Greenville, N.C. native, who opened six of 12 contests during his initial campaign, also established an East Carolina and American Athletic Conference single-game reception yards standard with 283 (career-best 12 catches) against Cincinnati on Nov. 2, which ranked as the highest individual single-game output at the FBS level in 2019. His other triple-digit performances included a 141-yard effort versus Tulsa, 106 at UCF and 100 against Temple.

A year ago, Johnson was a multiple All-American Athletic Conference selection, earning first-team accolades from Phil Steele Publications and honorable mention recognition from league head coaches.

The Biletnikoff Award, presented by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club (TQC) Foundation, annually recognizes the outstanding receiver, not merely a wide receiver, and the award recipient is selected by the highly distinguished Biletnikoff Award National Selection Committee, a group of over 200 prominent college football journalists, commentators and former receivers. Receivers may be added to the watch list as their season performances dictate. Ten semifinalists will be announced Nov. 16 before three finalists are declared Nov. 23. The 2020 winner will be presented live on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will be aired Dec. 10 on ESPN.

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