July 8, 2013
BEAUMONT - Lamar University junior Kevin Johnson, who was named preseason All-America last week, was one of 34 players from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) named Monday to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Kick Returner of the Year Watch List.
Johnson, whose 13 touchdowns in 2012 tied the 1952 Lamar single season record of Sammy Carpenter, returned 22 kickoffs last season for 623 yards and two touchdowns. His 28.3 yards per return ranked third in the Southland Conference and the two scores tied for the league lead and matched the Lamar career record.
"Congratulations to Kevin Johnsonon earning a spot on the 2013 CFPA Watch List," said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. "Johnson finished the 2012 season with one of the nation's strongest kickoff return performances. In 2013, Johnson will be one of the top players to watch in the Southland Conference."
A native of Houston, Johnson added 19 receptions for 309 yards from his wide receiver position. More remarkable is that 10 of the 19 grabs went for touchdowns as Johnson tied Stephen F. Austin All-America Cordell Roberson for the conference lead in receiving scores.
Johnson's first kickoff return for a touchdown came in his record setting performance against McMurry as the Cardinals picked up a 52-21 win. Johnson returned a kick 88 yards for a touchdown and added three receiving scores to tie the school mark with four touchdowns and 24 points scored in one contest.
Johnson recorded a season-long 89-yard kickoff return for a score against Sam Houston State. The Oklahoma State transfer earned honorable mention all-conference honors last season at both kick returner and wide receiver.
Johnson is the third Lamar player to be named to a CFPA Watch List, joining punter Kollin Kahler and defensive back Branden Thomaswho were selected last month.
More than 130 CFPA recipients have signed professional contracts, and twenty-one have been first-round NFL Draft selections.
The CFPA Kickoff Returner Award dates back to 2008 with Alabama's Javier Arenas earning the inaugural award. Other CFPA recipients performing as NFL return specialists include: Tavon Austin (West Virginia), Giovani Bernard (North Carolina), C.J. Spiller (Clemson), Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech), Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss), Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State), Golden Tate (Notre Dame), LaMichael James (Oregon), Laron Scott (Georgia Southern), Damian Williams (USC), Taiwan Jones (Eastern Washington), Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma), Eric Page (Toledo), Cliff Harris (Oregon), Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State), Asa Jackson (Cal Poly), Tyrann Mathieu (LSU), Joe Adams (Arkansas), Fozzy Whittaker (Texas), Jerodis Williams (Furman), Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook), and Reggie Dunn (Utah).
Lamar's 12-game season begins on Aug. 31 when Oklahoma Panhandle State pays a visit to Provost Umphrey Stadium. For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715 or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.