The spring game is always a great event for Nebraska to show off fan passion to recruits. The atmosphere gives a nice taste of what it’s like in the fall which leaves them impressed. That impression also extends to players that have already signed to play for the program.
Minnesota 2022 running back Emmett Johnson was one of several signees in town for the day.
“The coolest thing was just being in the environment and seeing everybody and the fans,” Johnson said. “I’ll say that was the coolest part of the day. Having 50,000-plus fans for a spring game is actually crazy. Just to see the people showing love and seeing all the players and all the coaches again. Those were the best parts of it.”
It was important for Johnson to get back to Lincoln and experience something close to a game day. He committed to the team during the offseason and wasn’t on the team’s radar during the season to visit. The chance to meet some of his future teammates that he hadn’t met before was too good to pass up. There is a well-known member of his class that he’s struck a friendship with. The pair share a similar mindset.
“I met guys like Decoldest [Crawford] and I met some of the other commits. It’s just good to be with them,” Johnson said. “We think a lot of like in terms of football. We all just can’t wait to play. Me and Decoldest are probably going to room together. We’re just excited to be down here. It’s different for them coming from hot temperatures and all that to come into the Big Ten and experiencing the difference in weather. They said for them it’s just adjusting to the playbook.
“It’s football at the end of the day. No matter where you come from everybody gonna be playing the same sport.”
Johnson has already been giving Crawford tips on getting ready for his first winter. Getting to know his future teammates more was nice for the running back. Having the chance to meet face-to-face with new running backs coach Bryan Applewhite for the first time was big.
“I talked to him multiple times today,” Johnson said. “It was just great to finally meet him because it was my first time meeting him in person. We’ve talked over the phone and stuff but it was good to meet him. I like him. He’s a great guy. He’s gonna push you to be a great running back and even better person. I just feel like I’ve already learned a lot from him in the short amount of time that I’ve known him. I’m excited to work with him throughout the year.”
Johnson was keeping an eye on the running backs today to see how they performed. He loved what he saw from his future position group. Seeing them on the field Saturday made him want to be out there competing even more. Johnson knows what he wants to work on with just a couple months until he arrives in Lincoln this June.
“I’ll definitely say I’ve just been working on getting stronger and faster,” Johnson said. “I just want to elevate my game to the point where I have no weakness. That’s my main goal is coming in with no weakness. Working on my cutting ability, working on staying low. Just getting my footwork right and focusing on studying the playbook and pass blocking.”
Johnson knows coming into college that learning the playbook is a tough task. He’s started digging into the Huskers’ playbook the best he can to hit the ground running. The back thinks of himself as a quick learner so he’s hoping to lean on that during the process.
“I am really looking forward to showing Lincoln what I got,” Johnson said. “I’m willing to do anything for the team to win. I just can’t wait to put the pads on and get to 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.