An already stout defense got a little tougher on Sunday with the announcement that Tyreke Johnson will be joining the Nebraska program as a transfer defensive back.
— tyreke johnson (@Im_showtime_) June 13, 2021
Johnson put his name into the transfer portal on May 12 after spending the first three years of his career at Ohio State. In 2018, his first year with the program, he redshirted. In 2019, he appeared in eight games in a reserve role behind future NFL defensive backs like Jeff Okudah, Shawn Wade, and Damon Arnette. He got more of an opportunity early in the 2020 campaign, but saw his snaps dwindle as the year progressed. For his career, he has eight tackles.
Ranked as the No. 21 player nationally in the 247Sports composite in the 2018 class, Johnson is a former 5-star recruit. He’s originally from Jacksonville, Florida, attending the same Trinity Christian Academy that produced Husker safety Deontai Williams. In his preps career, Johnson made a habit of not just picking off passes, but returning them to the house.
He’ll be immediately eligible for the Huskers after the passage of the one-time transfer legislation this summer. He’ll have three years to play.
Likely now one of the favorites to win the starting corner spot opposite Cam Taylor-Britt, Johnson adds one more talented option to a deep group of corners. Though he doesn’t have much production to his name, Johnson is coming from a Buckeye defensive back group that has been a high-end NFL talent factory in recent years.
Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher also landed a former high-profile recruit out of the transfer portal last year as well—Nadab Joseph.
With Johnson and Joseph, and Fisher recruits in Quinton Newsome and Braxton Clark, expect fierce competition for the open starting corner job in fall camp, and then a good rotation of corners behind whoever ends up earning the top two spots. The Huskers also have freshman Tamon Lynum at corner and welcome three more freshmen defensive backs to the team this summer from the 2021 recruiting cycle.
Nebraska had two open scholarships to give to incoming transfer players, so with Johnson’s addition, they will have just one to pocket or give out. He becomes the fourth transfer player to join the team this offseason, along with running back Markese Stepp (USC), wideout Samori Toure (Montana), and linebacker Chris Kolarevic (Northern Iowa).
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.