Charles Johnson, former Colorado wide receiver, NFL, dead at 50

Charles Johnson, the former Colorado wide receiver who won a Super Bowl title with New England during a nine-year NFL career, has died. He was 50 years old.

The university confirmed Johnson’s death Wednesday through Heritage High School, the Wake Forest school where he served as assistant athletic director.

WNCN-TV in Raleigh reported Wednesday that police found a body in a hotel room on Sunday during a wellness check at a Hampton Inn and Suites and a preliminary investigation revealed no signs of foul play.

Johnson was selected 17th overall by Pittsburgh in the 1994 draft. He spent five seasons with the Steelers, two with Philadelphia, helped New England win the Super Bowl in the 2001 season and ended his career with Buffalo in 2002.

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“Words just can’t explain or identify who CJ was to many,” said former quarterback Kordell Stewart, Johnson’s teammate in Colorado and Pittsburgh. “I don’t know how to treat this properly – we’ve been friends for over 30 years – but please know that we will miss CJ. My thoughts are with Tanisha (his wife), their children and their family. May God bless them and keep them in these difficult times.

In 133 career regular season NFL games, Johnson had 354 receptions for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns.

At Colorado, Johnson was a freshman on the Buffaloes’ 1990 national championship team and finished with 127 receptions for 2,447 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, who was Johnson’s wide receivers coach in 1992 and 1993, released a statement Wednesday saying:

“I was shocked and very upset to hear the news about CJ. He was a great person, a teammate and an infectious personality. He wore Buffaloes pride and tradition on his sleeve. One of the best competitors who I trained as WR Rest in peace CJ.

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Johnson played at Cajon High School in California.

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