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Top 60 Countdown: No. 5, WR Aldarius Johnson

It's no accident two receivers have landed among the top six in our countdown of the Top 60 players at UM. They're that good. Sophomore Aldarius Johnson, much like No. 6 on our list LaRon Byrd, can be among the most dominant players in the conference at his position if he continues to develop. AJ has proven it at every level and UM's coaches only expect more in 2009.

Aldarius Johnson > What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: I still remember the first time I saw AJ at Miami Jackson High. I watched him haul in a 60-yard touchdown pass in the playoffs against Booker T. Washington and instantly called up current high school editor Andre Fernandez to tell him the next Andre Johnson was playing for the Generals. Little did I know at the time AJ was just a freshman. AJ went on to become the most prolific receiver in Miami-Dade County High School history. He finished his senior season at Miami Northwestern with 76 grabs for 960 yards and 13 touchdowns -- the first two were single-season county records. Rivals, Scout and ESPN all had him among the top receivers in the country.

> What he's done as a Cane: True to his own tradition, Johnson worked his way to becoming UM's leading pass catcher last season, hauling in 31 passes for 332 yards and three scores. He averaged just 10.7 yards a catch, but demonstrated the ability to pick up big first downs with tough catches in traffic. He started eight games and had the game-winning touchdown grab in the come-from-behind win at Virginia.

> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: More catches, more production and a stellar sophomore season. At 6-3, 215 pounds, Johnson (4.67 in the 40) doesn't have the speed to burn you, but his toughness and ability to get open make him one of the hardest receivers in the ACC to cover. Along with LaRon Byrd, Thearon Collier, Tommy Streeter, Kendall Thompkins and Travis Benjamin, there are many who believe UM has the best receiving core in the ACC. By the end of this season, many will probably be saying its the best group of receivers in the country.

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