Keagan Johnson started at cornerback last season for Bellevue West, and he used that experience to boost his confidence throughout the June camp season.
The 6-foot, 174-pound athlete in the 2021 class attended camps this month at Iowa State, South Dakota State and Wyoming, saying he only wanted to camp at schools "that have shown real interest in me."
"I had a really good day at Iowa Sate," Johnson said. "It was a long, four-hour camp. Towards the end I got called out for one-on-ones, and the Iowa State receivers coach (Nate Scheelhaase) said they would be in contact."
Though the Cyclones haven't offered him a scholarship yet, their coaches have given him plenty of positive feedback.
"I don't know whats to come in the future," Johnson said, "but I'm excited about it."
Johnson's future on the field should also include different positions. In addition to cornerback, Johnson said he plans to split time at both wide receiver and safety this fall. He'll rotate with Nate Sullivan, a Division I recruit in the 2020 class, at safety so they can occasionally get a break while playing both sides of the ball.
Johnson expects that to help his recruitment, and he showed off his versatility during the Iowa State camp.
"Iowa State thought that I was coming to the camp as a cornerback because the coach had watched my film, but then they saw what I can do as a receiver," Johnson said. " It helped in a way and showed that I am versatile and I have offensive skills too. College coaches respect a player that can play on both sides of the ball because it shows that you have toughness and agility and versatility."
South Dakota State was Johnson's first scholarship offer, and the Jackrabbits have familiarity with him. His brother, Cade, will begin his junior season at SDSU in the fall.
SDSU defensive backs coach Dan Jackson is Johnson's lead recruiter.
"It's a good relationship. I've known Dan for a long time," Johnson said. "He said the offer wasn't about Cade, but he sees what Cade does and he sees that in me. He has always believed in me and talked to me after my games last year and has been encouraging and helping with stuff."
But SDSU isn't the only school with a family connection to Johnson. His oldest brother, C.J., is going into his senior year at Wyoming.
And Johnson's father, Clester, has been helpful in the recruiting process. He too was a standout player at Bellevue West in the early 1990s and later went on to star at Nebraska.
"My dad is always giving me tips," Johnson said. "He tells me to don't worry about scholarships right now, just do the things you can control. When the scholarship offers start coming that doesn't mean stop the process. That is just the beginning."
And though it may just be the beginning, Johnson does have a head start on most kids his age.
"I have two brothers that have gone through it so I know what to expect," Johnson said. "I know how to talk to all of the college coaches and can lean on my family for advice."
And Johnson hopes to add to his offer list. In addition to the schools he visited for camps, he's also received interest from Northwestern, Western Illinois and North Dakota.
But recruiting isn't his only focus this summer. He knows what he needs to improve on as a football player.
"My route running is something I need to be better at," Johnson said. "I am pretty quick on routes, but the breaking and footwork is a big thing. I want to get my lower body stronger. The third thing is just my confidence. I know that I am a better athlete than some of the guys I'm playing against. I think last year that was my problem. I was playing a little timid."
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Photos: Division I basketball and football recruits in Nebraska for the 2020 class
These are the basketball and football players from Nebraska in the 2020 class who have at least one Division I scholarship offer. Did we miss anyone? Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org