HERO Sports is counting down the days until the kickoff of the 2018 college football season on Saturday, Aug. 25, by featuring the best player in the FBS at each jersey number, from 99-1. Each day, from May 18 through Aug. 24, we'll publish one article showcasing the best player whose jersey number matches the number of days remaining.
"There's really nothing in our offense he's not able to do, whether it's run deep, catch the ball over the middle, run bubble screens. We've got to find the way to get the ball in his hands."
That was Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold talking to The Buffalo News early in fall camp last August. While Leipold saw the talent of his 6-foot-2, 207-pound JUCO transfer, there's no way he could've seen what was coming that season. Johnson didn't.
"I'm thinking I'm gonna have a bad season and after that Minnesota game I started getting better and better at practice," said Johnson in March, referencing nervousness and potential rustiness after redshirting in 2016. "It just took off from there. It was an amazing feeling."
In two JUCO seasons, Anthony Johnson had 40 receptions for 993 yards and seven touchdowns. He had 76 receptions for 1,356 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first season with the Bulls. It started in the season opener vs. Minnesota when he torched the Gophers for 11 receptions, 140 yards and one touchdown.
Last year, he was a little-known JUCO transfer on a team coming off a two-win season. This year, he's one a potential first-round draft prospect and the best No. 83 in college football for a team coming off a six-win season.
HERO Sports is dedicated to college football, with an emphasis on FCS coverage. We are proud to be the go-to site for comprehensive FCS analysis for fans across the country. HERO Sports also publishes betting odds and insights for FBS games.