Nebraska swung big for a pair of highly-rated recruits from Augustus Hawkins High School in Los Angeles, but it was the college located three miles away that landed the duo of Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson.
Both players announced Wednesday on a nationally-televised broadcast that they would be signing with hometown USC instead of the Huskers, who were a finalist for both but will finish as the runner-up.
Lewis, a wide receiver, and Johnson, a corner, are both considered to be amongst the top prospects in the country. Lewis is a consensus top-100 recruit who holds a five-star ranking from the 247Sports composite and is ranked No. 31 nationally. Johnson is a consensus four-star prospect and lands just outside the Top 100 on the composite.
Lewis and Johnson held a joint ceremony at their school on signing day to announce their commitment to USC; ESPN2 broadcasted their announcement nationally.
Nebraska recruited few other players as hard as it did Lewis. The Huskers hosted him on three visits throughout his recruitment — most recently an official in October — and wideouts coach Keith Williams developed a relationship with him as strong as any other coach courting him.
Lewis, who once played on the same 7-on-7 team as Husker quarterback Patrick O’Brien, kept NU in the mix until the very end. But the nearby Trojans amped up their interest in Lewis over the last few months. Lewis took an official visit there on the final weekend before signing day, and that essentially sealed his decision to stay home for college.
Johnson was previously committed to Arizona and visited Nebraska in October. The hiring of corners coach Donte Williams from Arizona seemed to be a big boost for the Huskers in their pursuit of Johnson, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from picking the Trojans. Greg Johnson’s younger brother, 2018 recruit Marcus Johnson, is also committed to USC.
But Nebraska will be back at Hawkins High School in the coming years, though. The Huskers already have a commitment from 2018 cornerback Eric Fuller and are also targeting 2018 wide receiver Jalen Hall, 2018 safety Aashari Crosswell, 2019 athlete De’Gabriel Floyd and 2020 corner Brandon Jones.
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