The need is large for Nebraska to continue adding linebackers in the 2020 cycle. At this point it can be safely said that linebacker is the most pressing need for the cycle and that both inside and outside linebackers are priorities. Nebraska needs to add impact outside linebackers who can rush the quarterback.
Minnesota 4-star outside linebacker Kaden Johnson fits that perfectly. He stands at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds with the size and athleticism to fit that hybrid role. Johnson took his official visit to Nebraska over the weekend for the matchup with Ohio State. Despite the outcome of the game, Johnson had a great time.
“It was awesome being back in Nebraska, Johnson told Hail Varsity. “It was great to be able to experience a game with my family and I had a great time with everyone on the staff.”
— Kaden Johnson (@KadenJohnson9) September 30, 2019
It looked like Johnson was enjoying himself before the game. He was taking in the big game atmosphere. That observation was not wrong.
“Oh, yeah. I was having fun,” he said. “I had a lot of fun. It brought me chills how loud it got in there.”
When I spoke with Johnson back in the spring about that visit, he was excited to bring his family back to Lincoln for this official. His mom, dad and sister all made the trip this time. The highlights for his family were being able to experience the game and sit down to talk with Coach Scott Frost.
“It was a smooth talk [with Frost],” Johnson said. “He told me that I’m a big priority for them and that they are excited about me and they need that outside linebacker”
Johnson was talked to by a lot by the other Husker commits during Nebraska’s pre-game on Saturday. So, what was that like having those guys wanting him to join them as a Husker?
“Knowing that the commits know about me and want me to join it was cool,” he said. “Getting to know Blaise [Gunnerson] was great. They are all super chill guys that love the game of football just like I do. I could for sure see myself playing with those dudes.”
In our previous talk, Johnson mentioned how big of a role academics would play in his eventual decision. He spoke to me about what he found on the academic side of Nebraska during his trip.
“It was very eye-opening because I’m very big on academics,” Johnson said. “I want to leave college with a degree so I can succeed. The academic things at Nebraska are amazing.”
When it comes to a decision timeline, the Minnesota defender isn’t sure quite yet. He still plans to take more official visits. He has one on the books to Oregon State and is considering taking one to LSU. He is going to talk it all over with his parents. What he does know is the deciding factors in the which school he chooses to call home.
“The deciding factors for me choosing a school would be the possibility to play as a true freshman, the family feel I get from the coaching staff and the academic part,” he said. “That is very big for me.”
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.