John Bivens

John Bivens emerged as a national recruit during his junior year, but a knee injury and academics prevented him from landing at a major college football program out of high school.

A former Nebraska recruiting target and three-star running back from the 2019 class is set to join the Huskers as a walk-on this fall.

John Bivens kept a low profile during his initial courtship with NU two years ago and did so again this time, simply posting “RB @ The University of Nebraska” on his Twitter page. A Nebraska spokesperson confirmed the status of the back to The World-Herald, though Bivens didn’t respond to a World-Herald request for comment. Bivens is also listed in the school’s student directory, according to the registrar’s office.

A knee injury late in Bivens’ junior season cost him his entire senior year in 2018. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound rusher from Dayton (Ohio) Archbishop Alter still received recruiting attention and included Nebraska among his finalists with USC, Louisville and Kentucky. He came to Lincoln for the 2018 spring game and took an official visit in January 2019 but never received the green light from coaches to commit.

Academics also factored into his recruitment. Speculation arose last year that Bivens might still find his way onto NU’s roster for the 2019 season, though it never materialized. It’s unclear what school, if any, Bivens attended last year.

Bivens thrived in 2017, flashing a mix of power and speed to rack up 1,308 yards (9.9 per carry) and 15 touchdowns. By the end of the 2019 cycle, he was still ranked the No. 38 running back and No. 589 prospect overall, according to the 247Sports composite.

The addition brings extra depth to a group of NU running backs that could use it. Senior Dedrick Mills is entrenched as the starter. The other scholarship players are redshirt freshmen Rahmir Johnson and Ronald Thompkins and true freshmen Sevion Morrison and Marvin Scott. Thompkins, like Bivens, suffered a severe knee injury in high school.

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