Johnnie Morton

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Johnnie Morton
No. 87, 80, 84
Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1971-10-07) October 7, 1971 (age 42)
Place of birth: Inglewood, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 193 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Torrance (CA) South
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21
Debuted in 1994 for the Detroit Lions
Career history
 As player:
 As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played 182
Games started 156
Receptions 624
Receiving yards 8,719
Touchdowns 43
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Johnnie James Morton, Jr. (born October 7, 1971) is a former American college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for twelve seasons during the 1990s and 2000s. He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC), and was recognized as an All-American. Originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round in the 1994 NFL Draft, he also played professionally for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. Morton attempted a career in mixed martial arts fighting in 2007, but was permanently suspended by the California State Athletic Commission shortly after his debut fight when his pre-fight sample tested positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs, specifically the steroid epitestosterone.[1]

Early years[edit]

Morton was born in Inglewood, California. He attended South High School in Torrance, California, and played for the South High Spartans high school football team.

College career[edit]

While attending the University of Southern California, Morton played for the USC Trojans football team from 1990 to 1993. He broke twelve USC team and Pacific-10 Conference records for receptions and receiving yards. Morton was nicknamed "Johnnie Hero" by USC broadcaster Pete Arbogast, thanks to a game-winning touchdown pass Morton caught in the 1990 USC-UCLA rivalry game—a 23-yard strike from Trojans quarterback Todd Marinovich with 16 seconds left that gave the Trojans a 45-42 come-from-behind victory.

Professional career[edit]

Detroit selected Morton in the first round (21st overall pick) of the 1994 NFL Draft, and he played for the Lions from 1994 to 2001. He would go on to achieve an important secondary role on a deep Lions' receiving corps that also featured Pro Bowl flanker Herman Moore and veteran Brett Perriman. After learning the ropes as a rookie in 1994, Morton became Detroit's featured slot receiver in 1995 and a key contributor on special teams as a kickoff/punt returner. Morton was part of one of the most prolific offenses in Detroit history that year, as the Lions would rack up 436 total points (second highest in the NFL) and end up with ten victories - appearing in the playoffs for the third straight season. He contributed 44 receptions on that team for 590 yards and 8 touchdowns. Perhaps his most memorable game occurred that same season during a classic Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit against the Minnesota Vikings. Moore (127 yards), Perriman (153), and Johnnie Morton (102) all eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark, and Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders rushed for 138 yards, and quarterback Scott Mitchell passed for 410 yards in a 44-38 Lions' shootout victory.

After the departure of Perriman, Morton became more of a featured receiver in Detroit's offense in the ensuing years. His best season statistically was during the 1999 season when he had 80 receptions for 1129 yards on a surprising Lions team that made the playoffs that year, despite the unexpected retirement of Barry Sanders. All told, Morton finished his pro career with 624 receptions for 8719 yards and 43 touchdowns. He currently ranks third on Detroit's all-time list in both receptions and yards-receiving, with 469 and 6,499, respectively.

NFL stats[edit]

Receiving Stats[2]

Year Team Games Receptions Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
1994 DET 14 3 39 13.0 18 1 2 0 0
1995 DET 16 44 590 13.4 32 8 29 0 0
1996 DET 16 55 714 13.0 62 6 31 1 1
1997 DET 16 80 1,057 13.2 73 6 51 2 0
1998 DET 16 69 1,028 14.9 98 2 48 0 0
1999 DET 16 80 1,129 14.1 48 5 52 0 0
2000 DET 16 61 788 12.9 42 3 40 1 1
2001 DET 16 77 1,154 15.0 76 4 58 1 1
2002 KC 14 29 397 13.7 30 1 25 0 0
2003 KC 16 50 740 14.8 50 4 36 0 0
2004 KC 13 55 795 14.5 52 3 38 1 1
2005 SF 13 21 288 13.7 30 0 14 0 0
Career 182 624 8,719 14.0 98 43 424 6 4

Personal[edit]

Morton's younger brother, Chad Morton, also played at USC. The Morton family is of mixed ethnicity, African-American and Japanese.

Morton had a brief cameo appearance in the movie Jerry Maguire.

During the 2001 season, comedian Jay Leno had been poking fun at the Lions' 0-12 record. When the Lions won their first game of the season 27-24 against the Minnesota Vikings, Morton, who knew of Leno's comments, said, "I got the damn monkey off my back, off Marty's back, and I want Jay Leno to kiss my ass." Morton later appeared on The Tonight Show,[3] during which Leno proceeded to kiss a donkey.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-1 Ivory Coast Bernard Ackah KO (punch) K-1 Dynamite!! USA June 2, 2007 1 0:38 Morton tested positive for illegal substances.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pugmire, Lance (June 14, 2007). "Morton fails test for steroids". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved Sep 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Johnnie Morton Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0728472/
  4. ^ http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Morton-Tests-Positive-for-Steroids-7893

External links[edit]