Georgia Tech great Calvin Johnson has played his final NFL game.
The Detroit Lions made the announcement Tuesday, the final day of the league’s 2015 year. It ends one of the most prolific professional football careers of all-time, one honored with six Pro Bowls and three first-team all-pro selections. Johnson also set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season (1,964 in 2012).
He released a statement through the Lions that included a passage that leaves little doubt about his decision.
“After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football. I have played my last game of football.
“Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision. As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it.”
Johnson came to greatness at Tech, winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver in 2006, the same season he was named the ACC player of the year. A two-time All-America, he set school records with 2,927 career receiving yards, 28 touchdown receptions and 13 100-yard receiving games. Blessed with an uncommon combination of size, speed, strength and drive,
He became the first Tech player to be named a three-time selection to the All-ACC first team.
Beyond that, he left scores of indelible memories, starting with his leaping touchdown catch to beat Clemson 28-24 in the second game of his freshman season.