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SoCal Legends: Keyshawn Johnson
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Writer
Published May 13, 2021

Keyshawn Johnson ran track and played football for Dorsey high school (Courtesy photo)

Keyshawn Johnson is one of the most iconic wide receivers out of USC who went on to have a 10-year NFL career.

Johnson attended Dorsey High School as a senior after attending Palisades in previous years. He ran track and played football for the Dons, earning a spot on the All-CIF First Team for football. After graduating from high school, he competed at West L.A. College.

In 1994, he transferred to USC and made an impact right away. Johnson made 66 catches for 1,362 yards, averaging 20.6 yards per catch that season. This boosted the Trojans to an 8-3-1 overall record, qualifying them for the Cotton Bowl.

Southern Cal wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson (3) holds the Rose Bowl trophy high for all to see after the Trojans defeated Northwestern, 41-32, Monday, Jan. 1, 1996, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The Trojans battled the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Cotton Bowl and Johnson made eight receptions for 222 yards. His efforts got him co-MVP of the game. The next year, Johnson made 102 catches for 1434 yards and seven touchdowns. This helped the USC Trojans earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.

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Johnson set a Rose Bowl record of 216 receiving yards against the Northwestern Wildcats, helping the Trojans secure a 41-32 victory and earning him MVP honors in the matchup. Johnson was named on the All-Pac-10 First Team both years and was the 1995 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. He also won the Pop Warner Award.

His 102 catches in 1995 set a USC and Pac-10 record for season receptions that stands to this day. In 1997, Johnson graduated from USC with a B.A. in social sciences and history.

Keyshawn Johnson, a wide reciever from the University of Southern California, holds a Jets football jersey with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, left, after being taken by the New York Jets as the first pick in the NFL draft in New York Saturday, April 20, 1996. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

In the 1996 NFL Draft, Johnson was the first overall pick, acquired by the New York Jets. He helped the franchise become a contending force as they went from 1-15 overall in 1996 to go 12-4 in 1998.

The Jets clinched the AFC East Divisional title for the first time in franchise history in 1998. He earned two Pro Bowl selections during his time in New York.

Johnson was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two years later. In his first year with the Buccaneers, Johnson racked up 874 receiving yards. He improved the next season, accumulating 1,266 receiving yards and secured his third Pro Bowl selection.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, right, smiles at a press conference with Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer Wednesday, April 12, 2000 in Tampa, Fla. Johnson, who was traded by the New York Jets for two first round draft picks, signed an eight-year deal with the Buccaneers worth nearly $7 million a season and recieves a signing bonus of about $13 million. (AP Photo/Scott Martin)

Johnson helped Tampa Bay reach Super Bowl XXXVII where they defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21. He made six receptions for 69 yards in the bout.

In 2004, Johnson was traded to the Dallas Cowboys. In the two seasons he spent there, Johnson made 141 catches for 1820 yards.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson (19) shares a laugh with coach Bill Parcells during morning practice at training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005, in Oxnard, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

In 2006, Johnson became a Carolina Panther. In their Monday Night Football game against Tampa Bay, Johnson became the first football player to score a touchdown with four different teams during an MNF game.

Johnson announced his retirement in 2007 and was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame the next year. In 2012, Johnson was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame. Since his retirement, Johnson took a career in broadcasting.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Keyshawn Johnson (19) is swarmed by teammates after scoreing on a 9-yard pass from quarterback Brad Johnson in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson Sr., left, talks with his son, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr., following Nebraska’s spring football game Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Lincoln, Neb. (Francis Gardler/The Journal-Star via AP)

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Categories: Football | History (Sports) | Sports
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