Keyshawn Johnson Jr. made his much-anticipated commitment to Nebraska on March 23.
He did so by releasing a video produced by Bleacher Report that opens with highlights of his father playing for USC and Johnson discussing following in his dad's footsteps. It also includes old footage of him growing up and working through drills with his dad. The video ends with Johnson saying, "I told y'all I was going to make my own path. Go Big Red."
He was the second recruit to commit to the Huskers in this manner, following the lead of 2016 signee Lamar Jackson, also a California native, who shared his video before National Signing Day.
For the Huskers, it was a commitment more than a year in the making.
Nebraska extended Johnson an offer in February 2015 and already had a leg up in his recruitment because of a connection to his father, Keyshawn Johnson Sr. Mike Riley was the offensive coordinator at USC while the eventual NFL standout played there in 1994 and 1995.
Soon after the offer came, Johnson made his first visit to Lincoln in early March with several teammates from his 7-on-7 team, the Team 19 All-Stars, coached by Johnson Sr. His son would make several more visits to Lincoln throughout the next year, including two in 2016 before he committed to the Huskers.
By January, Johnson narrowed down his recruitment to a top five — Nebraska, USC, Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State — and soon after that announced he’d be making his decision some time in March. It came March 23, and marked a big victory for the Huskers.
Immediately after his son's commitment was announced, Keyshawn Sr. tweeted that the decision came down to relationships and trust.
Since making his commitment, Johnson Jr. has been a major recruiter for the Huskers. He's attracted several other Southern California prospects to show interest in Nebraska.
He took his official visit for the season opener on Sept. 3 and had another great opportunity to help recruit as he was on campus with several other major targets in the 2017 class. He recapped the visit during an interview on "The Bottom Line." Johnson also attended the Illinois game on Oct. 1.
On Dec. 4, Mike Riley, Danny Langsdorf and Keith Williams made an in-home visit with Johnson Jr. and Tristan Gebbia.
Johnson is ranked as a four-star prospect, according to the 247sports composite, and the No. 27 wide receiver nationally. Those same rankings put him at No. 26 in the state of California, regardless of position.
He had 68 catches for 944 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior in 2015.
Johnson became the second wideout in the 2017 class, committing to the Huskers less than two weeks after his friend Jaevon McQuitty. Those two became close during visits to Lincoln, and both were on campus for the junior day on March 12. Johnson and McQuitty join NU’s first commit of the 2017 class, linebacker Willie Hampton.
Johnson’s addition to the class has already helped the Huskers recruit Calabasas High School. After signing Marquel Dismuke from the school in 2016 and landing a commitment from Tristan Gebbia for 2017, NU is also after Darnay Holmes, a five-star corner, and Brendan Radley-Hiles, a 2018 prospect.
Photo: Courtesy of Michael Coons/Acorn Newspapers
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