Oct 29, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver James Johnson (left) and Arizona Wildcats cornerback Cortez Johnson (7) during the game at Husky Stadium. Washington defeated Arizona 42-31. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
On Thursday, the UW athletic department announced that redshirt senior wide receiver James Johnson would be leaving the football program and retiring due to a wrist injury. Johnson suffered the ailment last fall and missed all of what would have been his senior season. Once again, he’ll go without a senior season after redshirting last year.
The once-promising wide receiver was seemingly constantly injured throughout his career at Washington. After bursting onto the scene as a freshman with 39 receptions, Johnson missed eight games the next two seasons before sitting out all of last one. Those 39 receptions for 422 yards and three touchdowns earned him a spot on The Sporting News’ All Pac-10 Freshman team in 2009. The first touchdown of the Steve Sarkisian era came via Johnson from a Jake Locker pass against LSU.
Unfortunately, Johnson would go onto catch just 29 more passes in his tenure as a Husky. He caught one of many Keith Price touchdown passes in the infamous 2011 Alamo Bowl. That turned out to be Johnson’s final touchdown reception as a Husky.
As Bob Condotta notes, the departure of Johnson and three others will help the Huskies reach their 85-player scholarship limit. Surely this is not how they wanted to meet the requirement, however.
Fortunately for Johnson, he will stay on scholarship for his senior year after retiring.