The Iowa Hawkeyes have won six in a row over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the field, but perhaps no victory will be more lasting than the one the Iowa staff got on the recruiting trail when they landed Keagan Johnson. A 4-star wide receiver from Bellevue, Nebraska, Johnson is a Husker legacy whose father won a national championship in the red and white.
But the evolving offense in Iowa City, family atmosphere and overall fit led the younger Johnson to spurn an offer from Nebraska in favor of the Hawkeyes. Iowa fans should be excited.
Today, he’s officially a Hawkeye.
Under head coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa has long attracted high end talent along each line and found under the radar players to develop into NFL players at tight end and defensive back. But rarely have the Hawkeyes put together a collection of skill players that comes in with the cache of this year’s group.
Johnson may well be the headliner of the talented group. He’s got elite top end speed in the mold of current playmaker Ihmir Smith-Marsette and appears like a plug and play to replace ISM upon his graduation.
As a senior at Bellevue West, Johnson finished with 935 yards and 10 touchdowns on 51 receptions for an 18.3 yard per catch average in just 7 games. He also added 170 yards and 7 touchdown on the ground.
On film, it’s easy to see the Smith-Marsette comp as Johnson jumps off the screen as the fastest, most dynamic player on the field. Beyond the straight line speed, Johnson has a full route tree and the rushing touchdown total should be an indication of his abilities with the ball in his hand if offensive coordinate Brian Ferentz continues to get creative in the run game.
Johnson is Iowa’s only commitment in the class of ‘21 to hail from Nebraska, but is one of three receivers expected to sign during the early period. He joins Iowa native Brody Brecht and Kansas native Arland Bruce, who moved to Iowa to team up with Brecht for his senior season.
Welcome aboard, officially, Keagan Johnson!