Four-star wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr. spoke with Campus Insiders to discuss how his game compares to his dad’s.
As the old saying goes: Like father, like son. Right?
Well, that’s not quite the case in terms of physical measurements for Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and his father. When Keyshawn Johnson Sr. was making plays on Sunday, he weighed in at about 211 lbs and stood at 6-foot-4.
Johnson Jr. is listed at 6-foot-1, 195 lbs, though physical attributes aren’t the only difference between the two. A 4-star prospect in the 2017 recruiting class, the young wide receiver decided to kick that apple a little bit farther from the tree when he committed to Nebraska on March 23, choosing the Cornhuskers over his parents’ alma mater, USC.
When Campus Insiders recently spoke with Johnson, he said it had nothing to do with his parents and had everything to do with the feeling he got on campus in Lincoln.
“It wasn’t really going against [him] because my dad is all for me, making sure wherever I’m going is a good place for me,” he said about choosing Nebraska over USC. “USC was always in the race, 24/7. My mom went there. My dad went there. I’ve been a Trojan my whole life. But I felt the Nebraska environment, the coaches, all that came into it, it was the best place for me. So, I chose Nebraska.”
He may not be following in his dad’s footsteps as a Trojan, but apparently the nation’s No. 29 wide receiver is the spitting image of his famous father. Sure, they look alike, but Johnson believes he plays exactly like his dad did.
“Honestly, I was watching his film a couple weeks ago, and they’re pretty much identical, except for the fact that maybe he’ll take a hitch and go 80 yards, which I’m still trying to be able to do. I gotta’ get my speed better, but I mean, we both caught everything. Our routes were precise — unstoppable, you know, unguardable. ” Johnson said in reference to how his game compares to his dad’s.”
Obviously, having a father catching touchdowns and showing out for millions of people doesn’t gift wrap a set of skills for you. Johnson has worked hard to get to this point.
He ran the routes. He’s worked on exploding in and out of his cuts. He’s concentrated on snatching the football and high pointing it out of the air.
But Johnson still owes a lot to his father as his own private, unique coach and mentor.
“He just got me better every single time I stepped on the field with him,” Johnson said. “He would tell me stuff that other coaches wouldn’t tell me, and once I did them, they’d work 24/7. I’d get open immediately. So, on the field, like that, that’s where he helped me the most.”
Johnson Sr. was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, and Johnson Jr. would have to really excel at Nebraska to match that part of his dad’s resume.
The fact remains that, in the 20 years since the New York Jets selected Johnson Sr., not a single pass catcher has been the No. 1 pick.
But, hey, anything is possible. The 4-star receiver believes his game is interchangeable with his dad’s, so like father, like son, right?
Note: Scout rankings, ratings and photos used in this article.