Keagan Johnson discusses his decision
With a father that won two national titles during his career at Nebraska, turning down the Huskers was not an easy decision for Keagan Johnson, but he says he hopes to create his own legacy at Iowa. After Johnson announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes, we caught up with the 6-foot-1, 188-pound wide receiver to discuss his decision, what role he will play in the Iowa offense, and much more.
Q: First, can you tell us about your decision and what all went into it?
JOHNSON: It's Iowa. The deciding factor I felt was really Coach Copeland. I trust him because he's really turned around the wide receiver position at Iowa the past couple years. I feel like there's something special going on there and I want to be a part of that.
Q: When did you actually arrive at your decision and make the call?
JOHNSON: I made the call about two hours ago, but they already had a pretty good idea. I talked to them last week and told them I was getting close and now I'm ready.
JOHNSON: Yeah, it was. I wouldn't say I committed because they did, but it helped. I think we'll be good competition for each other. Brody and Arland are really good players and I feel like we'll complement each other well. I'm excited about it.
Q: Which wide receiver position does Coach Copeland see you playing and what is the opportunity like there?
JOHNSON: I talk to him pretty frequently and we watched some of Ihmir Smith-Marsette's film and compared it to mine. I see myself kind of doing what Ihmir does for their offense. They find different ways to get him the ball whether it's reverses or screens or jet sweeps and I feel like those are some of my strengths as well. Also, with my physicality, I think one of my best attributes is running after the catch and breaking tackles. But as far as where they seeing me playing, it's kind of Ihmir's role I think.
Q: Making your decision, was it hard for you to say no to Nebraska just growing up as a kid whose dad played there?
JOHNSON: Yeah, it was tough, especially with a dad that played there when they were winning national championships, but I wanted to take my own path. After my first visit to Iowa, I knew it was home. I just felt a genuine vibe from the coaching staff and they made me feel at home there. At the end of the day, I've got to create my own legacy. My dad supported me and let me have an open mind through this whole thing, so I'm ready to start my own legacy.
Q: When you first started getting recruited, most of the interest was at defensive back and then eventually switched to wide receiver. Is that your preference to play offense?
JOHNSON: Yeah, my preference was always offense, but I think playing defense helped my recruiting because it showed how physical I am.
Q: Lastly, how does it feel now just knowing where you are headed next year?
JOHNSON: I'm excited. I feel like there's a weight lifted off my shoulders because I'm grateful to be in this position, but at the same time it's stressful, so I'm excited to have the recruiting process over with.
I spent many nights praying about this decision. I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in today. I want to thank my family, coach, and teammates. Without you guys this isn’t possible. With that being said ... I’m committed to the University of Iowa 🐤 pic.twitter.com/C5iaNfvDwT— keagan johnson (@_keaganj) May 6, 2020
Overall, Johnson is commitment No. 15 for the Hawkeyes in 2021, as he joins Brody Brecht, Arland Bruce, David Davidkov, Beau Stephens, Max Llewellyn, Jordan Oladokun, Cooper DeJean, Jeff Bowie, Zach Twedt, Griffin Liddle, Justice Sullivan, Connor Colby, Jaden Harrell, and Gennings Dunker in the Iowa's recruiting class.
As a junior, Johnson had 52 catches for 672 yards and eight touchdowns plus five carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for Bellevue West as he helped the team finish 13-0 on their way to a state championship.
See highlights from Johnson's junior year in the video below.