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Former CU receiver Charles E. Johnson dies at 50

After a standout career at CU Boulder, played for the Steelers, Eagles, Patriots and Bills.
Credit: AP Photo/Michael S. Green
Pittsburgh Steelers' Charles Johnson on Sunday, Nov. 5, 1995, in Chicago.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Former Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Charles E. Johnson has died at age 50.

Johnson's death was announced by Heritage High School, his employer in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

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

A star receiver at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Johnson was picked 17th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1994 NFL draft.

Johnson spent five seasons in Pittsburgh. He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills until 2002.

"I was shocked and very distraught hearing the news about CJ," said CU head football coach Karl Dorrell. "He was a great person, teammate, and had a infectious personality. He wore the pride and tradition of the Buffaloes on his sleeve. One of the best competitors I’ve coached at the WR position. Rest In Peace CJ."

“Words simply can’t explain or identify who C.J. was to many,” said former quarterback Kordell Stewart, Johnson’s CU and Pittsburgh teammate. “I’m not sure how to process this properly — we’ve been friends for over 30 years — but just know C.J. will be missed. My heart goes out to Tanisha (his wife), their kids and family. May God bless them and keep them during these trying times.”

"We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our former WR, and Buff great, Charles E. Johnson," said a statement from CU football.

Over Johnson's nine-year career, he caught 354 passes for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns in 133 games, winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2002.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this article. 

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Credit: AP Photo/Michael S. Green
Pittsburgh Steelers' Charles Johnson on Sunday, Nov. 5, 1995, in Chicago.

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