Former Jets receiver and Olympic medal sprinter Johnny “Lam” Jones died at the age of 60 on Friday, after a battle with myeloma cancer.
His alma mater, the University of Texas, announced the news.
Jones starred for the Longhorns, winning team MVP in 1978, twice earning All-Southwest Conference honors and finishing his collegiate career with eight touchdowns of 45-plus yards. It was in Austin he earned his “Lam” moniker in an effort to avoid confusion with Johnny “Ham” Jones — one from Lampasas, TX, the other from Hamlin.
His speed was a well-known quantity before he set foot on campus in Austin, after he won Olympic gold as a member of the 4×100 relay team at the 1976 Games in Montreal.
The Jets were enamored with that speed enough to trade a pair of first round picks to be able to select Jones with at No. 2 in the 1980 draft.
He lasted five years in the NFL, never quite able to live up the high expectations the Jets and he had set for himself: 138 receptions for 2,322 yards and 13 touchdowns in 61 games. His best season came in 1983, with 43 catches for 734 yards and four TDs.