College Sports

Keyshawn Johnson sets terms for son’s return to Nebraska football after pot charge

Nebraska wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr., left, has taken a leave of absence from the Cornhuskers football program. His father, Keyshawn Johnson, right, says he’ll have to mature before he plays again.
Nebraska wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr., left, has taken a leave of absence from the Cornhuskers football program. His father, Keyshawn Johnson, right, says he’ll have to mature before he plays again. Composite created from AP file photos

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

But in the case of Nebraska wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr., it’s now his dad, the former NFL and Southern Cal star, supplying the heat.

The younger Johnson, cited earlier this month on suspicion of marijuana possession by university police, has taken an extended leave of absence from the Cornhuskers program, according to news outlets in Nebraska and the Associated Press.

His father, an ESPN analyst who played one season for the Carolina Panthers, told the Omaha World-Herald that the decision to withdraw from Nebraska was a mutual decision reached among himself, Cornhuskers coach Mike Riley and the school’s athletics department.

You’re in college now. You’re an adult. You’re not a kid.

Keyshawn Johnson on what he expects from his son

Keyshawn Johnson expects his son to return to Nebraska and the team in January, but he wants Keyshawn Johnson Jr., 18, to “mature” at home in Calabasas, California in the meantime.

“You’re in college now,” Keyshawn Johnson told the Omaha paper. “You’re an adult. You’re not a kid. You take a look at it from afar and let me know how important it is to you.”

The Johnsons posted tweets Tuesday that appear related to the situation.

Keyshawn Johnson’s read “Sometimes you need to take a step back, before you can go forward #GBR.” #GBR is a hashtag abbreviation for “Go Big Red,” another nickname for the Cornhuskers athletics teams.

His son’s simply implied that he intends to “Bounce back.”

To do that with the Cornhuskers, Keyshawn Johnson Jr. will need to meet certain conditions, according to the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal-Star, though those requirements were not listed in the article.

KeyshawnJrCelebrateAP
Keyshawn Johnson expects his son to return to Nebraska and the team in January, but he wants Keyshawn Johnson Jr. (3) to “mature” at home in Calabasas, California, in the meantime. Nati Harnik AP

Riley was offensive coordinator when Keyshawn Johnson played at Southern Cal in the ’90s.

Keyshawn Johnson Jr. was the likely the most well-known recruit of 2017 at Nebraska. He enrolled early so he could take part in the Cornhuskers spring football drills, better his chances of playing in the fall. One unexpected challenge facing the younger Johnson were lingering effects from an appendectomy in December.

But the four-star recruit added further complications when police found 4.5 grams of marijuana and a glass bong in Johnson's dormitory room on June 9 after a resident director reported suspected drug use in a dormitory room.

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