Charles Johnson, the former Colorado wide receiver who won a Super Bowl title with New England in a nine-year NFL career, has died. He was 50 years old.
The university confirmed Johnson’s death Wednesday through Heritage High School, the Wake Forest school where he was assistant athletic director.
WNCN-TV in Raleigh reported Wednesday that police found a body in a hotel room Sunday during a wellness check at a Hampton Inn and Suites and that a preliminary investigation indicated no signs of foul play. Johnson was selected 17th overall by Pittsburgh in the 1994 draft. He spent five seasons with the Steelers, two with Philadelphia, helped New England win the Super Bowl in the 2001 season and finished his career with Buffalo in 2002.
“Words just can’t explain or identify who CJ was to many,” said former quarterback Kordell Stewart, Johnson’s teammate at Colorado and Pittsburgh. “I’m not sure how to process this properly, we’ve been friends for over 30 years, but I know CJ will be missed. My heart goes out to Tanisha (his wife), his children and his family. May God bless and keep you during these difficult times.”
In 133 career NFL regular season games, Johnson had 354 receptions for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns.
At Colorado, Johnson was a freshman on the 1990 Buffaloes national champion team and finished with 127 receptions for 2,447 yards and 15 touchdowns. Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, who was Johnson’s receivers coach in 1992 and 1993, released a statement Wednesday, saying:
“I was shocked and very distressed to hear the news about CJ. He was a great person, teammate and had an infectious personality. He wore the pride and tradition of the Buffaloes on his sleeve. One of the best competitors I have trained in the WR position. Rest in peace CJ.”
Johnson starred at Cajon High School in California.
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