MOULTRIE -- As the Colquitt County High coaching staff and the team's quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs arrived at the field house on Wednesday for passing drills, the man who holds the school record for receptions also walked through Mack Tharpe Stadium gate.

Carlos Johnson, just back from spending two months practicing with his new team -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- has been working out at the Colquitt County High weightroom and on Wednesday caught some balls at stadium.

The man known as "Butterbean" said he was pleased with how his first months as a National Football League rookie went and said he feels like he has a chance to make the team when camp begins July 25.

After playing two seasons at Temple and the last two at Valdosta State, Johnson was not surprised when he was not taken in the NFL draft.

At 5-foot-7, he is small by NFL standards. But his 4.4 speed in the 40 caught the attention of the Eagles.

There is plenty of difference between the competition at the professional level and that of Division II football.

"Everybody is fast up there," he said. "The biggest thing I had to get used was the terminology. It's more mental up there."

Johnson said he has been working out at both a wide and slot receiver and got work on a number of special teams, including working as a punt and kickoff returner.

"I can run with any of them," Johnson said of the Eagles receiving corps, which includes about eight players, two of whom are injured. "But I give them an extra dimension."

Johnson was sophomore starting at wide receiver when Colquitt County won the state championship in 1994 and by the time he played his final game in 1996, he held the school record for receptions with 98 and receiving yardage with 1,572. He still holds those records.

After a year at a prep school in Virginia, Johnson started for two years at Temple. But the Owls were just 4-18 those two seasons and when the chance came to be a part of Chris Hatcher's wide-open offense at Valdosta State, Johnson could not resist.

The Blazers won conference championships the last two seasons and Johnson was among the team leaders in receptions.

The move also allowed him to be closer to home, which especially pleased him. As does the chance to play football again at the next level.

"I've been blessed with this opportunity," he said. "Not everybody gets it."



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