Did you see this former South Pointe Stallion’s record-setting football performance?
Anthony Johnson had to wait much longer than he expected, but he’s an NFL player.
Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound wide receiver from South Pointe High School, was passed over in the seven rounds of the NFL draft, but quickly snapped up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly after the picking concluded Saturday evening.
“Want fuel you got it,” Johnson tweeted.
He joins a Rock Hill active NFL fraternity that includes his cousins, Jadeveon Clowney and Johnathan Joseph, as well as Cordarrelle Patterson, Stephon Gilmore, Mason Rudolph and Jaleel Scott. Rudolph and Scott were taken in the third and fourth rounds of the 2018 draft, respectively. Benjamin Watson retired following the 2018 season, while Montay Crockett spent time on several NFL practice squads last fall.
One silver lining of not being selected is draftable prospects like Johnson get to choose their destination. And in Tampa Bay, Johnson joins a team that needs wide receivers. Its only recognizable pass-catcher at the moment is Mike Evans, and the Bucs only added one receiver during the seven-round draft.
Johnson played four years of football at South Pointe, and also stood out in basketball, earning All-State honors and The Herald’s All-Area boys’ basketball player of the year award.
After high school, Johnson headed west to Butler Community College, in Kansas. He was on the move again the next year, transferring to Iowa Western. Mississippi State and Oklahoma State were both heavily interested in Johnson, but he graduated from Iowa Western during the summer session after his sophomore year, too late for either school to take him.
He ended up in Buffalo, then had to redshirt the subsequent season because of a back injury.
Johnson, nicknamed “Litman” by his Rock Hill friends and family, made up for lost time during his last two college seasons, scoring a combined 25 touchdowns. He caught 76 passes during a breakout junior season in 2017, racking up 1,356 yards and averaging almost 18 yards per grab. Johnson ranked second nationally in receiving yards per game (113), and his 14 receiving TDs set a new school record. He had six games with 140 yards receiving or more, which led the country.
Johnson’s production dipped during a senior season hampered by injuries. But he still caught 57 passes for 1,011 yards and 11 scores.