Bellevue West junior standout receiver Keagan Johnson has made his collegiate decision and for some people, it might come as a surprise.
Johnson announced last week he will head to Kinnick Stadium and play his college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Johnson chose Iowa over Nebraska and Kansas State. Johnson’s father, Clester, played his college football at Nebraska and was a member of the Huskers’ 1994 and 1995 national championship teams.
Some people thought Johnson might wait until after the COVID-19 pandemic to make his decision, but the younger Johnson said the fit was right and he knew he wanted to head to Iowa.
“I wanted to take my official visits first but due to the circumstances that wasn’t able to happen,” Johnson said. “I built a strong relationship with coach Copeland and I’m excited about the future of the offense.”
Kelton Copeland is the receiver’s coach at Iowa and Johnson said they immediately bonded.
Johnson finished his junior season with 52 catches and 672 yards and eight touchdowns for the state champion Thunderbirds. He had a breakout performance in the Class A state championship game against Omaha Westside by scoring two touchdowns, including an impressive run where he shed multiple tackles and outran the Westside defense to the end zone.
In addition to his father playing at Nebraska, Keagan’s older brothers, C.J. and Cade, played at Wyoming and South Dakota State, respectively, after impressive careers at wide receiver at West. Cade will be a senior next year at South Dakota State, where he earned first team All-American status this past season.
The youngest Johnson said his dad and brothers let his process be about him.
“Just do what’s best for me and don’t listen to outside opinions,” Johnson said about advice from his family. “I’m grateful to have that type of guidance.”
Heading into his senior season, Johnson said being committed to Iowa is somewhat of a weight being lifted of his shoulders.
“Definitely,” Johnson said about the sense of relief he feels having made the commitment.
“The recruiting process is great and I don’t take it for granted, but being able to focus on my senior season now is something I look forward to.”
After Johnson announced his commitment to Iowa, Iowa football alums Noah Fant of the Denver Broncos and George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers tweeted him congratulations and wished him the best.
“It’s awesome to have guys like that congratulate me but the work has just begun and I still have to prove myself,” he said.