Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
“I have the utmost respect and admiration for the game of football. It has provided so much for me and my family and I will be forever grateful to the game."
(Georgia Tech)...6'5'', 237...Dominant wide receiver during his nine-season NFL career … Selected second overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, where he played his entire professional football career … Started in 130 of his 135 career games … Nicknamed “Megatron” for strong, robotic like abilities on the field … Seven seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards … Earned NFL pass receiving yardage titles in 2011 and 2012 … At time of retirement in 2015, held NFL records for receiving yards in a season (1,964 yards in 2012) and most consecutive games with a 100 or more receiving yards (8) … Still holds the Lions’ record for most receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619) … Career stats include 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns… Earned Pro Bowl honors six consecutive years (2011-16) … First-Team All-Pro three times; second team once … Selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s … Born September 29, 1985 in Tyrone, Georgia
Calvin Johnson Jr., a 6’5”, 237-pound wide receiver out of Georgia Tech, was a two-time All-American who received the 2006 Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver and the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of The Year. He was drafted second overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions where he spent his entire nine-year career. An all-around dominant player, Johnson started in 130 of his 135 career games.
Nicknamed “Megatron” by a teammate for his strong, robotic like abilities on the field, Johnson began truly making his mark in the league during the 2008 season when he finished with 78 catches for 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Johnson had seven seasons (2008, 2010-15) with 1,000-plus receiving yards and earned league pass receiving yardage titles in 2011 and 2012 as well as the pass reception title in 2012 (122). He led the Lions in pass receptions and pass receiving yardage for six (2008-2013) and seven consecutive seasons (2008-2013, 2015), respectively, as well as the scoring title in 2010. He made two postseason appearances, the first of which included a performance with 211 receiving yards and two TDs.
Johnson was voted by his teammates as the Bobby Layne Offensive MVP Award winner for six-straight seasons (2008-2013) and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month twice (November 2012 and October 2013).
At the time of his retirement in 2015, he held several NFL records including the most receiving yards in a season (1,964 yards in 2012) and most consecutive games with 100 or more receiving yards (8). Johnson still holds the Lions’ career record for most receptions (731) and receiving yards (11,619).
Johnson’s career stats include 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. He earned Pro Bowl honors six consecutive years (2011-16) and was named First-Team All-Pro three times and Second-Team All-Pro once. Johnson was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 19-167, 1 TD; Two Point Conversions: 2
All-Pro: 2011 (AP, PFWA, SN, SI, ESPN) · 2012 (AP, PFWA, SN, SI, ESPN) · 2013 (AP, PFWA, SN, SI, ESPN)
All-Pro Second Team: 2010 (AP, NEA)
All-NFC: 2010 (PW) · 2011 (PFWA) · 2012 (PFWA) · 2013 (PFWA)
(6) – 2011, 2012*, 2013*, 2014*, 2015*, 2016*
* Did not play
In the NFL Record Book (at time of his retirement following 2015 season)
· [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Season – 1,964 (2012)
· [1st] Most Consecutive Games, 100 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 8 (2012)
· [Tied for 1st] Most Games, 200 or More Yards Receiving, Career – 5
· [Tied for 1st] Most Games, 100 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 11 (2012)
· [2nd] Most Yards Receiving, Game – 329 (vs. Dallas, Oct. 27, 2013)
· [Tied for 2nd] Most Games, 200 or More Yards Receiving, Season – 2 (2011, 2012)
· [3rd] Most Yards from Scrimmage, Game – 329 (vs. Dallas, Oct. 27, 2013)
· [Tied for 3rd] Most Receptions, Game – 12 (vs. New Orleans, 2011)
Lions records held by Johnson
(Records through the 2015 season, Johnson’s final season with Detroit)
· [1st] Most Receptions, Career – 731
· [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Career – 11,619
· [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Game – 329 (vs. Dallas, Oct. 27, 2013)
· [1st] Most Touchdown Receptions, Career – 83
· [1st] Most Touchdown Receptions, Season – 16 (2011)
· [1st] Most Games, 100 or more Yards Receiving – 46
· [1st] Most Games, 200 or more Yards Receiving – 5
· [Tied for 1st] Most Receptions, Game – 14 (vs. Dallas, Oct. 27, 2013)
· [Tied for 1st] Most Games, 300 or more Yards Receiving – 1
· [2nd] Most Receptions, Season – 122 (2012)
· [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdown Receptions, Game – 3 (vs. Washington, Oct. 31, 2010; vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 2015)
· [2nd] Most Touchdowns, Career – 84
· [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdown, Season – 16 (2011)
· [3rd] Most Receptions, Game – 13 (vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 2, 2012)
· [3rd] Most Yards Receiving, Season – 1,681 (2011)
· [Tied for 3rd] Most Touchdowns, Game – 3 (vs. Washington, Oct. 31, 2010; vs. Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 2015)
· [1st] Most Receptions, Game – 12 (at New Orleans, Jan. 7, 2012)
· [1st] Most Yards Receiving, Game – 211 (at New Orleans, Jan. 7, 2012)
· [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdown Receptions, Game – 2 (at New Orleans, Jan. 7, 2012)
· [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdowns, Game – 2 (at New Orleans, Jan. 7, 2012)
· [Tied for 2nd] Most Points Scored, Game – 12 (at New Orleans, Jan. 7, 2012)
· [3rd] Most Yards Receiving, Career – 296
League/Team Statistical Titles
NFL Statistical Championships
NFC Statistical Championships
Team Statistical Championships
Pass Reception Titles: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Pass Receiving Yardage Titles: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
Scoring Titles: 2010
Awards and Honors
· 2010s All-Decade Team
Year-by-Year Team Records
2007 Detroit Lions....................... 7-9-0 (3rd)
2008 Detroit Lions..................... 0-16-0 (4th)
2009 Detroit Lions..................... 2-14-0 (4th)
2010 Detroit Lions..................... 6-10-0 (3rd)
2011 Detroit Lions.................... 10-6-0 (2nd)
2012 Detroit Lions..................... 4-12-0 (4th)
2013 Detroit Lions....................... 7-9-0 (3rd)
2014 Detroit Lions.................... 11-5-0 (2nd)
2015 Detroit Lions....................... 7-9-0 (3rd)
(Division Finish in Parentheses)
Qualified for Postseason in Bold
Full Name: Calvin Johnson, Jr.
Birthdate: September 29, 1985
Birthplace: Tyrone, Georgia
High School: Sandy Creek (GA)
Pro Career: 9 seasons, 135 games
Drafted: 1st round (2nd player overall) in 2007 by Detroit
CALVIN JOHNSON: I am trying to keep my emotions in check here, so y'all just got to chill out.
Good evening, everybody. It's truly an honor to be standing before you this evening celebrating this incredible moment. I would like to start by thanking the Pro Football Hall of Fame for this incredible recognition. I would also like to congratulate the Class of 2020 as well as my fellow Class of 2021. It is an incredible honor and privilege to join such a distinct class as we head into Canton together.
There are so many people who have been instrumental to my being here in this special moment that time will not allow me to recognize. From College Park to Tyrone, from Atlanta to Detroit, I want you to know that I know who you are, I know what you've done and I know how you've impacted me. And I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you.
(Cheers and applause.)
As many of you know, I'm not one for many words. I try to make my words count. So I've decided to share with you some things that matter to me most this evening, and those are moments, people and legacies.
One of the more defining moments for me came early in my career. In my first year in the NFL, I suffered a serious back injury. It was so bad at the moment I couldn't feel my legs, and I thought my career would be over. But what most don't know is the road to recovery from that back injury that year and the physical and mental pain that I played through well into my career.
But going into that second year, despite dealing with the pain and the back injury, I made up my mind that I was going to be the best, most dominant receiver in the NFL every time I stepped onto the football field.
My mindset born from once being told I have little potential. It was my teammate Roy Williams in 2006 and 7 who gave me the nickname “Megatron” when I came to the league. But it was my second year when that Megatron mindset was born.
But no matter how much I dominated, as the Legends here know, the pain never left. The pain was so severe that I would take whatever I could just to manage the pain to be able to play. The pain began to take a toll on my body and my quality of life, and it wasn't getting any better.
And there came a moment when I know my time in this league, those days were numbered. But I was OK with this because I left it all on the field and enjoyed every moment.
My journey through the pain began to reshape my view of the world. It gave me more empathy and understanding for those who suffer and deal with pain on a daily basis. It also motivated me to be someone who was focused on making a change on the issue.
There are so many people living in our world with pain right now, and I want to speak to you for a moment. I want you to know that I see you, that you matter, and to fight and to do your best to make it through and never give in to the pain.
I also want to take a moment to share about a few people who have been instrumental to shaping my journey. Ronnie Walker, my high school head coach at Sandy Creek High School: You saw things in me that I didn't see in myself. You spoke confidence into me and solidified my parents' teaching by emphasizing the same principles.
Derrick Moore, my team chaplain for Georgia Tech and spiritual mentor: It is my spiritual stability that you helped me discover while in college that became key for me in life. Your energy is contagious, and I am grateful to call you friend. Thank you.
Buddy Geis, my Georgia Tech wide receiver coach: You taught me there are two things you can always control in this life: your attitude and your effort. Doing so changes your outlook and outcomes of situations when you look at things from this perspective.
Shawn Jefferson, my Detroit wide receiver coach: You always taught me to answer the bell, answer the door immediately when adversity knocks. Your motto was my off‑season mantra: Stay ready so you don't have to get ready.
Bus Cook, my agent: Put your phone down. Thank you for being a standup guy. You, and all those around you, I appreciate the support you've shown my family over all the years, and I'm grateful to have had you and your team in my family, in my life.
Tracy Schulman, Tom Benner, Dr. Raymond Hillenbrand, my body specialist team, thank you for keeping me on the field and taking care of my family. Without you, I wouldn't have made it again.
It gives me great joy to call all of your friends.
I ain't crying. I ain't crying. I ain't crying.
Lions fans, the city of Detroit.
When we were 0‑16, you never stopped showing up. You were disappointed, but you never stopped showing up. Every week you showed up. And this motivated me to do the same thing for you. You loved me and my family unconditionally over these 15 years. I want you to know Michigan is our home, Detroit is our city and Lions fans are our pride.
To all my teammates and coaches over all the levels I played, could you please stand for a second. I'd like to give you some recognition. Please stand, all my teammates and coaches. Coaches, too. Come on, Schwartz. Come on, Jim. Come on. There you go, bud.
For the second time, it's hard for me to go back and name every single one of you. Not really hard, but I just want you to know I valued every moment I spent with you, on the field, in the locker room and with our families.
These relationships and friendships will last a lifetime. And I want you to know they've helped carry me to this moment right here. I'm thankful – thankful for each and every one of you. I love you.
Britt, Mom, Dad, Shay, Wali, Suray, Ari, David and Cam, Big David, Granddad and my boys, Caleb, Calvin and Carter, and all my family that I have here and friends: I love you all dearly. My big sister Shay, Erica, Erica LaShay Johnson – oh, Johnson, my bad, my bad, you got me. You were the precedent. You were able to take our parents' best attributes and principles and turn them into a living example of success for all of us to follow.
Calvin Sr., from consistently being on call on the railroad to putting food on the table, the attitude of which you handle any task on or off the track taught me how to handle and maintain my demeanor in all situations.
Mom, Arica Johnson, I'm thankful for your vision and drive. Her spirit leads her, her drive pushes her to be the best at everything she touches. And not even a blow such as pancreatic cancer was able to dampen her spirit.
It was such a sequence of events where I saw her faith in action. What a blessing, an honor and an inspiration it was to witness and to have you as our mother.
To my beautiful wife, Brittney. To my beautiful, lovely wife: You brought balance to our demanding worlds. You're such a kind spirit, and I admire the way you love on our boys, our handsome little boys unconditionally.
The way you helped me in my development of my emotional intelligence, oftentimes by just being a sounding board, that's reserved more than you know. You know me, I can be a little rough around the edges, but your grace and smooth touch, it keeps us in balance. Love you, babe.
I spent time thinking about my legacy and what I'll leave behind. My legacy in sports has been solidified with no greater honor than standing before you today amongst these gentlemen. But my life's legacy is still being written. My journey through life in sports has led me to a point of pursuing a new legacy. For me, that legacy is improving quality of life for athletes and others.
For those who are out there suffering in silence and living in pain, for those who feel there's no hope for better days, with my partnerships I'm committed to helping people elevate their wellness.
To the NFL, college football and all major sports, including the Olympics: It's time we recognize the potential of phytomedicines, plant medicines, to aid and improve in the mental health and quality of life for so many.
These plants, primitive in nature, provide an alternative to their destructive counterparts, opioids. And I'm honored to be partnered with Harvard University, Dr. Wilfred Ngwa, Johns Hopkins and other institutions to help address the global disparities and bring validated solutions to people everywhere.
The legacy I've left behind thus far is a direct reflection of the moments my family and friends have poured into me and by understanding that excellence alone does not come from wishful thinking or God‑given ability, but one's ability to channel those wishful thoughts into action to achieve a desired outcome.
In closing, I ask that you all join me in leaving your own legacy by helping to improve the quality of life for others in whatever way you can. Because moments, people and legacy matters.
Before I end, I'd like to tell you, you know, I never was one to celebrate. But all things come from above, and every time I scored that touchdown, all I did was point up to the sky. Because that's where all good things come from. And this right here, this is a good thing.
Thank you all, and God bless.