words // Brandon Richard

During a season in which the record books were rewritten, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson surely left his mark.

Calvin’s big year started in the offseason, when he signed an 8-year contract extension with the Lions worth up to $132 million dollars. Not bad. His good fortune continued when he was named the cover athlete of the popular Madden NFL ’13 video game last April. There’s typically a “curse” that cynical fans associate with being on the cover of the aforementioned game, but the man they call “Megatron” accepted the challenge with open, pass-catching arms.

Calvin Johnson wearing Nike CJ81 Elite TD Battle Blue

Johnson wearing the Nike CJ81 Elite TD; image by Gregory Shamus

In a year for the ages, Johnson raised the bar for receiver excellence. From week 9-16, he has recorded consecutive games with 125 receiving yards or more, breaking the previous record held by Pat Studstill. With an 11-catch, 225-yard performance against the Atlanta Falcons on December 22, Johnson surpassed Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yards record. When you pass Jerry Rice on any kind of list, you’ve likely done something special.

Johnson finished with 122 catches and 1,964 total receiving yards, leading the league in both categories. More importantly, he made a 2,000 yard season by a receiver a realistic possibility and will attempt that elusive milestone in the upcoming season.

Historical statistics and a marketable personality also landed Johnson a signature footwear and apparel line with Nike. Launching this spring, Johnson’s collection is highlighted by his first ever signature cleat, the CJ81.

Built to Johnson’s specifications, the CJ81 features lightweight construction with no-sew overlays for enhanced strength. A dynamic midfoot cross-strap adds lockdown, enabling you to get optimal push off without slipping. Custom arch support helps players stretch for extra yards. Below sits a full-length Pebax outsole and a molded cleat pattern designed for grip from heel to toe. Along with the precision-molded collar, the CJ81 fits like a mid, but plays with the mobility of a low-cut cleat.

The CJ81 Elite Collection also consists of several Dri-Fit Cotton t-shirts with Megatron designs and the CJ Fly XL Short. You can take a closer look at the collection by viewing our Nike Football Lookbook App on Facebook.

Continuing his hot streak, Calvin was selected as the cover athlete for the most recently issue of Eastbay catalog. The issue highlights the new CJ81 and several other Nike football cleats for the new season.

Have a look at the April 2013 cover below and shop the CJ81 Elite Collection here today. Also get more insight from Calvin about his motivation and gear over at the Athlete Resource Center.

Available: Nike CJ81 Elite Collection

Calvin Johnson Covers April Issue of Eastbay

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson DriFIT T-Shirt

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson DriFIT T-Shirt; CJ Fly XL Short

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson Battle Blue Metallic Silver Black

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson Black Metallic Silver Sport Royal

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson Black White

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson Black White Tornado

Nike CJ81 Elite Calvin Johnson White Metallic Silver Black