Jayhawk Insider: Mr. Reliable
By: Jack Dodd
Through the first two games of the season, senior quarterback Peyton Bender seems to have found one of his favorite and fastest targets on this year’s squad. Senior Kerr Johnson Jr. has caught seven passes on the year, combining for 122 yards which is 20 more yards than he caught all of last season.
After an impressive 31-7 win at Central Michigan, the Jayhawks move to 1-1 on the season, aided by Johnson’s heroics in the second quarter. Both offenses struggled to gain any momentum in the first stanza, combining for six punts in the opening frame. Bender found Johnson on a 31-yard strike on third-and-6 to put Kansas on the board heading into the locker room.
Bender praised the work ethic and reliability of Johnson Jr. after Saturday’s win.
“Kerr’s a guy that’s always in the right spot at the right time,” Bender said. “He runs his routes the way he practices them. He’s just a guy you can rely on and you know he’s going to run his routes right and be where he needs to be.”
As for Johnson Jr.’s touchdowns – the small, speedy receiver can’t wait to find his big men to celebrate with once he crosses the goal line, as the hard-nosed effort the big guys put in from week-to-week is a major factor he has attributed to his early success.
“I’m looking for the first guy I see when I’m celebrating,” Johnson Jr. said. “It’s great seeing the linemen get so excited. They put in all the dirty work but we’re the ones who get to score the touchdown, but it’s really them that start it up front.”
Bender and Johnson Jr. look to continue their connection next week vs. Rutgers at David Booth Memorial Stadium. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. and will be televised on FSN.