Meanwhile, it’s getting a little chippy on the Cali end of the #Calibraska pipeline again, kids:
Unfortunately it’s about winning and not how good of a person these coaches are. Sometimes they don’t even get a chance to prove themselves #GBR
— Keyshawn Johnson (@keyshawn) November 25, 2017
Sad day. Your son committed to the University of Nebraska and I’d like to see him come back and finish what he started. Probably won’t happen but I’d like to see it.
— Dustin Jorgensen (@dustin_j33) November 25, 2017
Key, Jr will be a treat fit in Coach Frost’s high powered offense.
— TJ (@FranchiseTJ44) November 25, 2017
He won’t sign with us now.
— HuskerFBFans (@CornhuskerFan5) November 26, 2017
Whoa, whoa, whoa, cowboy. Because here’s the juice on Keyshawn Johnson Jr. from the most famous Nebraska Cornhuskers dad west of Larry Frost:
“My son is going back to Lincoln, Nebraska, as of now, in the month of January, and [will] be playing with the football team and all of his friends,” ESPN analyst and former NFL great Keyshawn Johnson, father of the former Huskers wideout, told Land of 10 this week.
“If anything changes between now and then, I will certainly let the Nebraska fan base know, so they don’t have to tweet at me anymore.”
We were wondering when you were going to get to that last part.
Regime changes rarely come without collateral damage, and with Mike Riley fired, everything you loved about #Calibraska resides in limbo at the moment. West Coast savvy assistants Keith Williams and Donte Williams. Quarterback of the Future Tristan Gebbia.
And, most notably, the first family of the #Calibraska movement — Keyshawn Jr., the gifted wideout from Calabasas, Calif., and his father, the one who pulled him out of school in the summer and brought him back home to “mature” after he was cited for marijuana possession.
“Scott Frost is my boy.”
— Huskers dad and ex-NFL great Keyshawn Johnson
“The next order of business [is], ‘Who becomes the head coach?’” the elder Johnson said from his office in Southern California. “And the next order of business is who’s on the head coach’s staff, what does it look like? The next order of business is whether you can live with it.
“That’s how you do business. You don’t all of a sudden start making irrational decisions. ‘Well, we’re out of here, we’re leaving, aaaaah!’ No. No one ever said that. No one ever said anything close to that.”
Divorces can make some old friendships awkward, which is sort of where the love affair between Nebraska fans and the two Johnsons is right now. Keyshawn Sr. and Riley have been tight for decades, going back to their USC days; Keyshawn Jr. has said he considers the former Big Red coach a ‘second father figure to me’:
Thank you Coach Riley for never giving up on me and giving me the opportunity to play at the next level. You are truly a second father-figure to me. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! #GBR pic.twitter.com/3A24PXPb65
— Keyshawn Jr. (@keyshawnnnn) November 25, 2017
Which brings us back to the elephant in the room: Now that the second father figure is gone, where do the Keyshawns go next?
“My job as a dad is to gather the information, give it to my son, and allow him to process it and to make a determination and a decision if all things are right for him,” Keyshawn Johnson explained. “That’s all.
“It’s not about picking a school for my son. It’s not about picking a coach for my son, like most people out there in the world want to try to make it sound. That’s not what it’s about.”
Various published reports have affirmed the long-held suspicion that former Huskers-quarterback-turned-coach Scott Frost was being plucked away from unbeaten Central Florida, perhaps as soon as this weekend, to serve as Riley’s replacement. If that plane lands, don’t presume that you’ve seen the last of Johnson Jr. in a Nebraska uniform. The elder Johnson goes back a ways with Frost, too, having played together in the NFL with the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“He’s watching classmates and his peers have a tough year and he watches every single game and every single play. And so he knows.”
— Keyshawn Johnson on his son, Keyshawn Jr.
“Scott Frost is my boy,” Keyshawn Johnson said. “I don’t think people even understand — I played with Frosty. I know Frosty. We know each other. This is not — I didn’t know Bo Pelini. I had no relationship with Bo Pelini whatsoever, at all, period. But I know Scott Frost. I have a relationship with Scott Frost, OK? That’s what it is.
“I also have relationships with Donte Williams. I also have relationships with Keith Williams. And my son loves Nebraska. He loves the fan base. And I enjoy the fan base. I’ve met with [university chancellor Ronnie] Green and his wife before — we’ve had conversations with them before.
“I understand what this is. I get it. Nobody needs to educate me on that. I don’t need anybody telling me I don’t know Nebraska football. I’ve been around football my entire life. I certainly know fan bases, and I certainly know Nebraska football. Sure, I didn’t go to Nebraska, play at Nebraska, [but] I certainly understand what they’re wishing and what they’re hoping for. I don’t need anybody to tell me to give Scott Frost a chance. I’m a grown-ass, 45-year-old man. I know what I’m looking at and I know what I’ve seen.
“Coaches get fired every single day. They get fired every single day. We certainly didn’t sign up at Nebraska thinking, ‘Oh, Mike Riley’s going to be there for the rest of his life.’ We’re not delusional. If you don’t win enough games, you’re going to get fired. Period. Whether it’s Nebraska, whether it’s USC, whether it’s UCLA, whether it’s Arkansas, whether it’s Alabama, if you don’t win enough games, they’ve got a plane ticket out of town for you. Period.
“And I’m sure the same will go for Scott Frost at some point and time. If Scott comes in, no matter if he comes and [gets] every recruit in the country and [if] it doesn’t go well in a time frame, I’m sure people are going to start saying, ‘Well, let’s get rid of Scott Frost.’ That’s the reality of it, right?”
No question. But let’s get him hired first before we go down that road. And until said hiring is official, the elder Johnson says, his son is going to keep targeting his workouts toward a January return.
“He’s training every day,” Keyshawn Johnson said. “Getting taller, he’s getting slimmer and stronger and faster and quicker. And he’s grown up. He knows what he did wasn’t acceptable. He’s learned from the mistakes. He’s watching classmates and his peers have a tough year and he watches every single game and every single play. And so he knows.
“He’ll get his chance again. When you’re young, you make mistakes, you need people like me to help you correct them who’ve been there, have made mistakes in his career before, too. I’m not squeaky clean. Neither is my son.”
C’mon, Key. The effort & lost look on the field after 3 years? He was a very nice man but his record justifies the time to move on. @keyshawnnnn will LOVE @coach_frost. Check out UCF this season. #Yourealwayswelcomehere
— Al Znamenacek (@cowboyupband) November 25, 2017
We hope you’ll consider the next coach.
— Andy (@atingwald) November 25, 2017
3 years isn’t getting a chance? Maybe you should give Frost a chance to develop your kid
— Greg Nissen (@GNiss50) November 25, 2017
So … um …. are we still friends?
“Nebraska fans are cool,” the elder Johnson said. “Hell, I’ve tailgated with a bunch of them this year. You know, if anybody knows anything about me, if I had a problem with the Nebraska football program and the city, my son would already be gone. If you know anything about me, if you know anything about Keyshawn Johnson, he would’ve been gone a long time ago if it was such a big deal.
“So just slow it down … slow it down a little bit. It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be fine. Let the process take its course. Let’s just slow it down, let’s see how it plays out. That’s all.”
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