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Nebraska football: Rahmir Johnson has a golden opportunity



Nebraska football
Nebraska's Rahmir Johnson (14) rushes during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Iowa, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Nebraska football depth chart came out Friday, with just a little less than a week until the program takes on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. There were several interesting things to note on the depth chart, including Rahmir Johnson as the second running back.

From a skill perspective, it’s easy to see why Johnson could be considered second in command. He has speed, as well as good vision. He also has the ability to catch the ball. More than that, he can make things happen after the catch. This is the type of running back you need in a modern offense.

Johnson did not see much playing time last year. It was a bit strange, considering how then-offensive coordinator Mark Whipple indicated he was going to use Johnson. It sounded like he was in for a big role. Instead, he fell a bit by the wayside. All told, Johnson recorded 19 carries for 85 yards last season.

His biggest season output came on November 25 against Iowa, when he rushed 12 times for 52 yards, averaging 4.3 yards a carry.

The Iowa game made me wonder why Nebraska football refused to utilize Johnson more. Maybe it was a Mark Whipple thing. Maybe Whipple did not want to go to Johnson often or didn’t like how the running back fit into the scheme of the offense. Whatever the case may be, he was underutilized. That does not appear to be the case this year.

Nebraska football RB room has depth

Being the second overall running back on the depth chart is a bit of a surprise at the moment. After all, Anthony Grant was a starter last year. He is now the third overall back on the chart. That coach Matt talked about Grant’s fumbling issues in his post-scrimmage press conference last Saturday. That undoubtedly has something to do with it as well.

Whatever the case may be, it’s Johnson’s time to shine. He has shown he can be a productive player in spurts. Just take the Michigan game in 2021. He caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed 17 times for 67 yards. The talent is there. The opportunities have not been there.

I’ll be interested to see how Johnson factors into the equation for the rest of the season. As of right now, Friday’s depth chart position is a good sign for him.

Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska