Hometown: Kannapolis, NC
Virginia’s wide receivers last season can be summed up in two words: Canaan Severin. In 2015 Severin had more catches (54 to 41) and yards (759 to 632) than all of UVa’s other wideouts combined, but he now plays on Sundays and someone else will have to step up. Enter Keeon Johnson, a rising senior and Virginia’s top returning receiver.
Last season Johnson appeared in all 12 games, starting five and amassing 13 catches for 173 yards and one touchdown. While he failed to have a true breakout game Johnson was steady, recording at least one catch in eight of UVa's 12 contests. The highlight of Johnson’s season came early when he caught a 42 yard touchdown pass off of a reverse against Notre Dame (this also may have been the only highlight of Steve Fairchild’s playcalling career in Charlottesville).
While UVa fans will welcome more big plays, what the Cavaliers really need from Johnson is consistent production. As a true freshman in 2013 Johnson had back to back five catch performances against Clemson and North Carolina for a total of 136 yards, so it’s not a matter of ability as much as it is one of opportunity. Ultimately Johnson’s ability to rekindle his freshman magic and become a reliable top target will go a long way towards determining UVa’s offensive success this season.