On Saturday, Nebraska picked up its fifth commit of the 2019 recruiting class when 3-star running back Rahmir Johnson from Oradell, New Jersey, joined the class. Johnson became the second running back to verbally commit, joining 3-star Thomas Grayson from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here are five thoughts about the commitment.
Johnson’s former high school coach Nunzio Campanile told NJ.com that Johnson was "probably the fastest player to ever play at Bergen Catholic." This spring he showed that again when he ripped off a 10.5 in the 100m dash. You can see in his film that he is a smooth runner with great vision. He’s a one-cut-and-go runner, which is something running backs coach Ryan Held covets.
Back in New Jersey
Last recruiting cycle, Nebraska tried to dip into New Jersey when and was in it until the very end with DE/OLB Javontae Jean-Baptiste. He ultimately committed to Ohio State. Jean-Baptiste attended the same high school as Johnson and did speak highly enough of Nebraska to get Johnson interested in what Nebraska had to offer. Nebraska has a storied tradition of getting players from Jersey as Mike Rozier, Rich Glover, the Peter brothers, Irving Fryar and Barron Miles all hailed from the Garden State. Mike Dawson is in charge of recruiting New Jersey for Nebraska and will make every effort to restore that pipeline.
Perfect Fit for Offense
I’ve already mentioned his speed and vision but Johnson's ability to catch the football out of the backfield plus line up in the slot is ideal. He has the versatility to be used in a variety of ways in Frost’s offense, which is a big part of what makes the offense so difficult to stop. Adding Johnson to Thomas Grayson, Greg Bell, Jaylin Bradley and Maurice Washington is a fun scenario to think about for Frost and Walters. That’s before you mix in JD Spielman, Tyjon Lindsey and Miles Jones as extremely versatile players.
Coach Held on Fire
When I spoke with Johnson the other day ahead of his public commitment, he told me that he talks to Dawson because he is the area recruiter, but that he talks the most to Held and Frost. Held is relentless in his pursuit of players to add to the program and has already made great strides in getting running backs interested in the Big Red. Expect running back recruiting to be a major focus again with Held in charge of the group.
Done at RB for 2019?
In the words of the great Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend!” On the surface, you might think Nebraska will shut down running back recruiting for the class now that Johnson has joined Thomas Grayson at the position for this class. However, the Huskers will lose two running backs to graduation after this season, plus we still don’t know the status of Tre Bryant. The Huskers find themselves in a great position to shoot for a top target now like 4-star Ronald Thompkins, 4-star Noah Cain, 4-star Austin Jones or 4-star Trey Sanders. Prior to Johnson's commitment, Nebraska could be considered in the driver’s seat for 4-star John Bivens who was in Lincoln for the spring game. Bivens has some grades concerns but he’s an outstanding talent. It’s now a complete luxury to add a third running back but that doesn’t mean Nebraska won’t try if the numbers will work.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.