Combine results have often taken precedence over on-field performance in determining the nation’s top recruits. Now becoming a top recruit may not even require getting on a varsity field in the first place.
The latest to buck the traditional path comes with serious pedigree. Keyshawn Johnson Jr., the son of the legendary USC and NFL wide out, has now received two Division I scholarship offers before playing a single varsity game.
Johnson Jr. broke news of scholarship offers from both Florida State and Arizona State on his Twitter account (https://twitter.com/keyshawnnnn) Thursday.
Just got my first scholarship offer from Florida St. I am truly blessed
– jr. (@keyshawnnnn) March 20, 2014
Just received another offer from Arizona st. This day can’t get any better.
– jr. (@keyshawnnnn) March 21, 2014
Then, his more famous father rallied behind him on his social media account (https://twitter.com/Thromedamnball).
– Keyshawn Johnson (@Thromedamnball) March 20, 2014
Such early offers would make for heady times for any teenager, though both family background and experience with a high-powered program should give Johnson Jr. some perspective. The teen spent his first high school season as part of the Mission Viejo (Calif.) freshman squad, and he doesn’t have a guaranteed spot on the Mission Viejo varsity team next fall as a sophomore, either. Despite that lack of experience, Johnson Jr. is clearly plenty confident he can compete at the nation’s top programs; in addition to offers from Florida State and Arizona State, he is allegedly planning unofficial visits to Ohio State and Clemson later this spring.
Where he ends up is anyone’s guess. What’s certain is there are already plenty of top programs that want his signature badly.