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2017 Best Football Players In The MAC: #24 Jon’Vea Johnson, WR, Toledo

This Toledo Rocket is ready to take off and emerge as a threat to opposing secondaries.

Northern Illinois v Toledo Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last season, the Toledo Rockets had one of the best offenses in college football. Quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 4,129 yards and led the country with 45 touchdown passes. Cody Thompson had an amazing season, catching 64 passes for 1,269 yards. Michael Roberts caught a Rockets record 16 touchdowns out of the tight end position. Kareem Hunt not only had a fantastic season, he capped his career as the Rockets all-time leading rusher.

Jon’Vea Johnson got a little lost in the mix, but still put up a lot of impressive numbers as a tritury receiving option.

The then-sophomore was third on the team in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, but was overshadowed a bit by the historic seasons of players such as Hunt and Michael Roberts.

Johnson finished his year with 40 catches for 773 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 19.3 yards per reception, amazingly enough only good enough for second place on the team (Thompson was the leader at 19.8). As teams focus on Thompson in 2017, look for Johnson to expand on his already great numbers from last year.

One thing Johnson did lead the team with last season, and the Rockets for all previous seasons for that matter, is his longest play, which was 98 yards. The yards per catch average and the 98-yard score are statistical proof of what I see every time I watch him play: he is a game-breaker in every sense of the word.

The six foot tall, 185 lb. junior from Gary, Indiana had his best game last year against a solid BYU defense, catching nine passes for 182 yards and three scores. Against a very stout Ohio Bobcats defense, he rang up six catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

I believe we’ll see more consistent production out of Johnson in 2017. There were times last year where he wasn’t a huge factor in games, but that was more a product of all the weapons that the Rockets had than anything else. Baring injury, I fully expect him to eclipse 1,000 yards on the season.