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Iowa Football Well Positioned for Nebraska Athlete Keagan Johnson

March 23, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Standout receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette created smiles on Iowa fans’ faces in December when he announced he’d be returning for his senior season. The New Jersey product has electrified crowds with his exploits in the passing game and on returns.

The Hawkeye coaches are searching for a player capable of filling the role beyond the 2020 season. Keagan Johnson could end up being that guy.

The Bellevue (NE) West High standout trimmed his list of eight scholarship offers down to three finalists at the end of February. Iowa, Kansas State and Nebraska made the cut.

“I think in the Iowa offense, I could be similar to Ihmir. They find different ways to get him the ball, and that’s kind of what I do in high school now,” Johnson told HN.

He has scheduled official visits to Nebraska (June 12-14) and Iowa (June 19-21). He’s been talking with Kansas State about a date to officially visit Manhattan.

Johnson’s dad, Clester Johnson, played wingback for the Huskers from 1991-95, helping them win two national championships. Keagan has heard assumptions that he will follow in his father’s footsteps to Lincoln.

“Ultimately, when picking a school, this will be the best decision for me and me only. I will pick the program I see myself best thriving in, and one I feel will help me reach my potential,” he said.

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“I won’t be pressured to go anywhere. I am taking my time and really looking in-depth at all my schools.”

Keagan Johnson (6-1, 180) caught 52 passes for 672 yards and eight scores in ’19. His team finished 13-0 in its march to a state championship.

Assistant LeVar Woods has been recruiting Johnson for Iowa. They have built a strong bond.

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“I’ve known coach Woods since freshman year. We talk pretty regularly. He’s a super genuine guy, and he’s real easy to connect with,” Johnson said.

Johnson has visited Iowa’s campus three times, the last stop coming during a Jan. 26 junior day. He was scheduled to be back on April 2, but that trip was canceled due to concerns from the coronavirus.

“The thing that stands out most is the culture that was built at Iowa. Coach (Kirk) Ferentz has built a very disciplined program, and his players play very hard for him. They know what to expect out of each year,” Johnson said.

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Johnson has not decided on a college major. He’s working toward an early summer decision, but that could change.

“I would like to commit in June, but nothing is set in stone,” he said.

Here’s a look at Johnson’s junior highlights:

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