Connect with us


Nebraska Football: Emmett Johnson taking “second step” in development

Emmett Johnson burst onto the scene last year, and is not slowing down.



Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football running back Emmett Johnson is continuing to impress the coaching staff, after having a solid and to the 2023 season. It seems as though he is picking up right where he left off last year, and running backs coach E.J. Barthel is pleased to say the least.

Johnson tallied 90 carries for 411 yards and two touchdowns last season. He made a strong case to be the Nebraska football starting running back for 2024.

Nevertheless, Nebraska football went to the transfer portal and picked up former Oregon running back Dante Dowdell.  Even still, it appears Johnson is making a push in impressing the coaching staff, as he has over the course of this entire spring.

Barthel is pleased with the growth Johnson is showing at the position, as he told media on Tuesday.

Johnson continues strong spring for Nebraska Football

This isn’t the first time that Johnson has been praised by a Nebraska coach. Matt Rhule sang his praises earlier this month as well. This is a  a testament to Johnson’s growth and development. It’s also a sign that he is not a flash in the pan, and will continue to be a force in the running back room.

It’s also very telling that Johnson is taking that “second step” in his development. He was far from a polished player last year, but he did possess traits that made him a viable starter. His speed as well as his quick vision, and his explosiveness once he got to the second level, were extremely noticeable. It will be interesting to see if he can build off that.

The fact that he wants to make a statement in the final season of his career is also very telling. Several, including me, assumed Dowdell would be the starting running back. After all, he was one of the more talked-about transfers of this cycle for the program. With that being said, Johnson has experience in his offensive system already, so he has the advantage in regards to program experience.

By no means is Johnson going to win the starting running back job out right. Dowdell is still very much in the picture. However, it’s clear he’s making the necessary strides and has the ambition to be the top running back on the roster.

It will be interesting to see what he does in the spring game on Saturday, and if he can separate himself from the rest of the running backs. Spring games are not everything, but they can give a preview of what’s to come.

For More Nebraska content, follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook Page, and Subscribe to the Husker Big Red YouTube Channel. You can also find our podcast on Apple or Spotify

Danny is a Nebraska athletics fan and writer. He also enjoys writing about recruiting in his free time. Danny has been following the Huskers for the last five years. Find him on Twitter @NebCornholio.