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Former GVSU wide receiver Charles Johnson is drafted by the Green Bay Packers

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Photo: Robert Mathews / Grand Valley Lanthorn

GVL / Robert Mathews
Senior Charles Johnson (4)

On Saturday, a dream became a reality for Charles Johnson.

The former All-American wide receiver from Grand Valley State University was selected 10th in the seventh round by the Green Bay Packers – the 216th overall pick.

“I’m really excited,” Johnson said. “Green Bay is one of the teams that I told my agent like, ‘Man I really enjoyed going to Green Bay.’ There was something about Green Bay that caught my attention. I liked the atmosphere and the coaching staff. It’s just a little town where the whole city and the town is into the Green Bay Packers. I just got a good vibe when I went there.”

Johnson will join an already strong receiving corps that includes Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and James Jones. He’ll enter training camp competing for playing time with fellow draftee Kevin Dorsey from Maryland – who was taken 14 picks after Johnson, and second year receiver Jarrett Boykin.

The Packers are fresh off of signing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a record five-year, $110 million contract, and Johnson is already looking forward to the opportunity to play with him.

“Green Bay is a great fit for me,” he said. “They have a great quarterback – the best quarterback in the league.”

Johnson was originally projected to be taken somewhere between the third and fifth rounds, and ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper believed he would be drafted in the fourth round.

“I was kind of down at a point when dang, I’m already at the seventh,” he said. “I expected to go a little higher, but hey, I got the opportunity and now it’s just time to take advantage of it. I’m blessed and I’m happy and I just thank God and thank everyone that has helped me along my way.”

Johnson was notified of the Packers intentions before it went live on ESPN. The draft show then went to a commercial before they announced Johnson’s name.

“I spoke with them right before I got picked,” he said. “They said, ‘Yeah we’re on the clock next. We want you – do you want to be a Green Bay Packer?’ Then I said, ‘Yeah.‘”

He then talked to general manager Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Tom Clements, and wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett.

Johnson is coming off of two strong seasons as a Laker. In 2011 he caught 56 passes for 1,080 yards and 15 touchdowns. This past season, he recorded 72 receptions for 1,199 yards and hauled in 16 touchdowns.

For now, he will continue to train and refine parts of his game before he heads to training camp.

“I’mma keep working on the little things I need to work on and just make sure I’m in shape when I do go there,” he said. “I head there in a couple weeks, but I got to see what’s all up. I just have to make sure that I do what I have to do that got me to where I’m at today in order to be in my best shape and be the best player I can be when I arrive there.”

Also, according to GVSU head coach Matt Michell, former Laker guard Tim Lelito signed a preferred free agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.

sports@lanthorn.com



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