Twenty-two years after taking the college field for USC, Johnson’s officially passed all those traits down to his son, Keyshawn Johnson Jr. The 18-year-old wide receiver was good enough to garner big-time college football offers, including one from his father’s alma mata.
But he wanted to pick his own, unique path. In a video for Bleacher Report, Johnson Jr. unveiled his college choice on Wednesday: The University of Nebraska.
“It’s not easy being born for greatness,” Johnson said in a video that recounted his life and childhood watching his father. “I’ve lived up to it my whole life. Always trying to follow in its footsteps. My name stands for something, gives me something to strive for but I’m more than just my name,” Johnson said. “I’m here to blaze my own trail, build my own legacy, work for my future. The expectations are high, the pressure immense. Do I take his torch or light my own?”
“I told y’all I was going to make my own path. Go Big Red.”
Ironically, there’s a connection between current-day Nebraska and his father’s time at USC: The man calling the plays that will get Keyshawn’s son the football in the passing game.
From 1993-1996, Mike Riley was the offensive coordinator at Southern Cal. That same Mike Riley—after coaching stints with Oregon State, the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints—was hired as Nebraska’s head coach prior to last season.
Twenty years after helping Johnson grow into the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, the coach gets to work with his son.