The combination of transfers at his position and a strong spring performance led some to forecast a breakout 2018 season for Taariq Johnson. Instead, the wide receiver will be plying his football wares elsewhere.
Earlier this week, Cal’s Justin Wilcox confirmed that Johnson has decided to transfer out of his football program. No specific reason for what was an abrupt decision to part ways was given.
“You want to keep everybody,” the head coach said by way of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s not ideal, but it’s just part of the deal. It’s a little bit of an anomaly because there’s been more attrition at one position, but we’re excited about the guys coming back.”
Johnson was a three-star member of the Golden Bears’ 2017 recruiting class. He took a redshirt as a true freshman, but capped off an eye-opening spring by catching a pair of passes for 26 yards in the spring game.
The most noteworthy departure from Cal’s receiving corps the last few months was Demetris Robertson, who led the team in receiving in 2016 before missing most of the 2017 season because of a lower-body injury. After leaving earlier this offseason, Robertson ultimately transferred to Georgia.
In addition to Robertson and Johnson, Cal also lost Melquise Stovall to transfer this offseason. Stovall totaled 42 catches for 415 yards and three touchdowns during his time in Berkeley, with all of those coming during the 2016 season. In May, Stovall announced via Twitter his decision to transfer to an Arizona junior college.