The Huskers just lost a player to their number one rival in the conference. Bellevue West wide receiver Keagan Johnson announced on Wednesday that he is committed to Iowa.
I spent many nights praying about this decision. I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in today. I want to thank my family, coach, and teammates. Without you guys this isn’t possible. With that being said … I’m committed to the University of Iowa 🐤 pic.twitter.com/C5iaNfvDwT
— keagan johnson (@_keaganj) May 6, 2020
It’s a tough loss for Nebraska who invested time in recruiting Johnson. Nebraska offered him a scholarship last February. The Huskers offered one day before Iowa putting an offer on the table. There was a change along the way in Johnson’s recruitment by Nebraska when Troy Walters left the program. Johnson was close with Walters and when he last visited Nebraska he did not have a chance to meet with Matt Lubick. The new Huskers offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach was announced as Walters’ replacement but not in Lincoln. Coach Frost did his best that day to explain the changes coming to the offense.
“We went over some plays from his Oregon offense when he and Coach Frost were there together,” Johnson said. “Coach Lubick is really good at the spread in and out offense. They started that over at Oregon. I look forward to meeting him. [Frost] was showing us what he wants the offense to look like in the future with what Coach Lubick will bring.”
To my knowledge Johnson never ended up meeting Lubick in person. He did get to speak with him over the phone since the response to COVID-19 suspended in-person recruiting. Johnson intended to commit before his senior season. First he wanted to take official visits to his final three schools. Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas State were the schools slated to get official visits. We continue see the recruiting response to the pandemic of players moving up their timelines.
Last year, Johnson helped lead Bellevue West to a Class A State Championship. He racked up 52 catches for 672 yards and eight touchdowns.
Losing Johnson at all is a bigger blow considering that he is a legacy player. His father Clester played for Nebraska in the 1990s winning a pair national championships with the program during that time. Keagan has two older brothers that did not receive scholarship offers at Nebraska. They went on to have successful careers at South Dakota State and Wyoming.
Wide receiver has been a position of focus for Nebraska in recent recruiting cycles. Last cycle they signed five wideouts. Alante Brown enrolled early and the team is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Omar Manning, Zavier Betts, Marcus Fleming and Will Nixon. The team has not landed a pledge from a wideout in the current cycle.
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.