As Nebraska preseason camp approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 30 most intriguing players on the roster.
A couple of notes: This isn’t best player or most important. As a list based on intrigue, it skews a bit toward youth and new players, but there will be plenty of established contributors, too.
The only scholarship player not considered for the list is defensive lineman Jahkeem Green, because at the outset of our countdown he is still in junior college and is only verbally bound to Nebraska.
No. 22: Rahmir Johnson, RB, freshman
There’s no doubt Johnson is fast. He showed that as a sprinter at Bergen Catholic (New Jersey) High School. His speed is part of what makes him intriguing.
So does the opportunity before him.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Johnson plays a position where Nebraska may need some help this season from a rookie.
Nothing is given, of course, but the odds are that the Huskers need at least two of Johnson, junior-college back Dedrick Mills or fellow incoming freshman Ronald Thompkins (Loganville, Georgia) to contribute right away, even assuming Maurice Washington is available and healthy.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all, but definitely one of my goals is to be on point going in and locking in and doing everything I can to impress the coaches and give them trust for me to be able to play this fall,” Johnson told the Journal Star during the spring.
Johnson finished his high school football career with a bang, rushing for 1,334 yards (6.3 per carry) and 11 touchdowns over 12 games in his first year as the featured back at Bergen Catholic.
Johnson flies under the radar sometimes among NU’s class of 2019, perhaps because he committed in May 2018 and never wavered.
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Once preseason camp begins early next month, Johnson will be squarely on his coaches' radar. NU running backs coach Ryan Held this spring made it clear that anybody can win the starting running back job and anybody can carve out a role.
Yes, even a rookie.