Ex-Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson and former UGA QB Matt Stafford grow closer during the offseason

Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford, once star players for archrivals Georgia Tech and UGA, have “grown” in their relationship over the last few months.

Which promising NFL star is poised to have a monster year for the Detroit Lions in 2010?

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Of course, the two have millions of reasons to develop football chemistry with each other as they are both considered among the NFL’s most promising future stars, along with carrying the hopes of turning around the fortunes of the Detroit Lions.

“I think our relationship has definitely grown just because of all the effort we’ve seen each other put in over the offseason,” Johnson told AJC. “You’ve got somebody that keeps you accountable, and you keep them accountable. I think Matt is somebody who is a leader by example on our team.”

Neverthess, we had to CJ the question: What is it like depending on a UGA-bred QB (Stafford) to get you the ball at WR? “It’s different, but I’m used to it now, ” Johnson said with a laugh. “Matt is doing a heck of a job himself with the work that I’ve seen him put in this offseason. We’ve put in a lot of work together. I think the second year is going to be real good for [Stafford].”

What about the Georgia Tech vs. UGA rivalry? Do the two NFL teammates still take sides before the big game? “Yes, when the time comes we tease each other … no doubt about it,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he is completely recovered from the sore knee that bothered him last season, causing him to miss two games. “My knee is feeling good. It’s 100-percent. I’ve been back out there practicing and haven’t had any problems at all.”

Stafford (left) and CJ carry the hopes of the NFL's Lions (AP)

Stafford (left) and CJ carry the hopes of the NFL's Lions (AP)

NOTE: Calvin Johnson has scheduled the 3rd Annual “Wide Receiver Camp” for high schoolers on Sat., July 24. It is FREE  via the non-profit Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation, which has a “vision to see youth emerge out of seemingly difficult situations and change into productive members of society.” Campers will get WR skill fundamentals from Johnson, discussions about nutrition, and products from sponsors. Are you a high school WR between the grades 9-12 that would like to attend? If so, request an application packet from Dr. Arica Johnson at cjjrf@yahoo.com

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34 comments Add your comment

Sugar Hill Dawg

June 29th, 2010
7:55 am

Great combo for years to come IF the Lions discover an offensive line. Since Matt’s from Dallas, probably not quite as goofy as an Auburn/Bama combo (or, going old school, Bart Starr (Bama) taking snaps from Bill Curry (Tech) back in the day with the Packers). The Blue and the Green will properly motivate these guys as the mature and advance in their careers.

Jacket Backer

June 29th, 2010
8:49 am

best of luck to both of them….


June 29th, 2010
9:05 am

Interesting story about two talented and classy guys from the greatest rivalry in college football.
I wish them both the best.


June 29th, 2010
9:19 am

Do not normally follow Det., but will keep an eye on these two. Great story.

As a GT fan, I was very happy to see Stafford run out of eligibility. Good talent. Wish ‘em both the best.


June 29th, 2010
9:20 am

It stands that if Stafford has a big year that CJ will also have a big year. CJ is the man at WR. I certainly hope they both do extremely well this year. With the draft the past few years, an intelligent new coach, and Matt Millen in the rearview mirror hopefully the Lions will start winning more that a couple of games a year.


June 29th, 2010
9:20 am

Great article. “Yesterday’s enemies are today’s friends” is the motto given to us by Hans-Georg Hess, the youngest combat submarine skipper of World War 11.


June 29th, 2010
9:24 am

Wow, what a fluff piece. Was there even a quote in the article, because all I saw were cut-and-paste athlete cliches.


June 29th, 2010
10:07 am

wonder what it would’ve been like to have stafford instead of ball.


June 29th, 2010
10:39 am

I’ve always like CJ. He was a stud, and was really bummed he didn’t come to UGA. Glad to see him and Stafford hitting it off. They need good chemistry to be successful. Can’t wait to see how they do as Stafford matures. Now, if they can only get a decent O-Line and some defense, they might could be pretty good in a few years….


June 29th, 2010
10:44 am

Gotta love it. Go Jackets! I hope Stafford and CJ find success in Detroit….


June 29th, 2010
10:47 am

UGA fans need to note…If Johnson would have chosen the dawgs over tech we would probably have a national championship ring.


June 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Forget the rivalry, they’re in the pros now. Wonder if Stafford would drop back to pass and think, ‘Gee, Calvin’s wide open but he did go to Tech.’ Wish them well with the Lions. Obviously they’re the two main leaders on that team.

Too Easy

June 29th, 2010
11:04 am

Anybody seen those pics of Matt and Calvin lifting kegs at the NASCAR race in Michigan earlier this year?


June 29th, 2010
11:24 am

I now cheer for Calvin Johnson to do well even though he is a Jacket because it helps Matthew Stafford, but I cannot cheer for Tim Tebow no matter what it does for Moreno’s career. I want Moreno to do well, but I would be disappointed if he ran Tebow to a Super Bowl.

Old Gold

June 29th, 2010
11:41 am

gt has put the ZZZZZzzzzzz back into football. Wake me up when the Diamond Jackets take the field again.


June 29th, 2010
12:11 pm

Not to nitpick, Glitchy, but Stafford left a year early. If he’d let his eligibility run out, we probably would have had a better season.


June 29th, 2010
1:20 pm

GT fans need to note…If Stafford would have chosen the tech over dawgs we would probably have a national championship ring.


June 29th, 2010
1:23 pm

Just bein’ nitpicky, 11Dawg, but when you join the NFL, your eligibility runs out!


June 29th, 2010
1:25 pm

Are they sitting on the back of a pickup sharing a sandwich and a soda with one straw , they are pros they are supposed to do their job , if Calvin were traded to the falcons i bet the friendship would desolve quick fast and in a hurry!!!!!!

Bryan G.

June 29th, 2010
1:30 pm

Calvin is a classy guy. Hard for this UGA fan to cheer against a guy like that. He’s a smart kid and not a prima donna…makes you wonder how he’s a wide receiver without an attitude???


June 29th, 2010
1:37 pm

Moved from Detroit 25 yrs. ago. Falcons my team but still follow the Lions. You do not know how big Stafford and Johnson will be for that town. They have had tough times and their football has sucked for so long. It is so cool that UGA and Ga.Tech produced these guys and it will be nice to watch them win together. Go Falcons and Go Lions (unless you are playing the Falcons ) (:

Dawg '94

June 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

If Johnson had of gone to Georgia, the Dawgs would probably have a recent national championship & Johnson would probably have a Heisman. I wish them well in the pros. 30-24

Flowery Branch Dawg

June 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

I hope they both set passing/receiving records, drastically improve the Lions and both go to the Pro Bowl. But I’m pulling for the Falcons to go to and win the Super Bowl.


June 29th, 2010
3:11 pm

I’d like to see Detroit have a great year. The city has enough crap to deal with. Having a bad NFL franchise is part of that dark cloud. I hope brighter days are ahead up there.


June 29th, 2010
4:03 pm

Great story.

By the way the GREATEST Rivalry in all of College sports is Army vs. Navy!


June 29th, 2010
4:42 pm

Stafford was at Churchills in Buckhead saturday night. I bought him a shot and congratulated him on his Thanksgiving day performance this year. He was grateful but I cannot for the life of understand what he was doing in a place like that….


June 29th, 2010
4:49 pm


Burdell, PhD

June 29th, 2010
4:53 pm

New BFFs or not…I don’t want to see any pictures of CJ and Stafford spooning at Talladega!!!


June 29th, 2010
10:17 pm

Hope they do well this year. Glad to see a Dawg and Jacket team up and hopefully do well this year. Hope the Falcons do better. Go Dawgs and THWGT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


June 30th, 2010
2:27 am

these guys have all the talent but are playing with a horrible organization that has not won anything since bobby layne was playing in the 50’s.

stafford is not an accurate passer so it will be interesting if they are still good friends by the end of the year.


June 30th, 2010
4:33 am

The mutt fan made a comment,”if Calvin would have gone to muttville, we would have a national ring”. Your recruiting numbers over a seven year period, have to average out in the top five in the country, yet you continue to have average results with above average players. Calvin would not have made any difference,or a dozen like him. Your coach is a great guy , but not a great coach.


June 30th, 2010
8:43 am

If Johnson would have gone to UGA he would have a SECC ring (2005) and he would have played a year with Shockley at QB and at least 2 years with Stafford. Instead he settled for 3 years with Reggie Ball and zero championships.

Burdell, PhD

June 30th, 2010
9:59 am

Ahhh…RedPants. But it was the education CJ wanted from Tech…and don’t most Dawgs sell those rings on eBay anyway?

Rana Cash

July 1st, 2010
6:22 pm

Great post, Michael. Keep ‘em coming! And props to Calvin for putting on a FREE football camp. That’s awesome.