Keyshawn Johnson says he told his son ‘you will not embarrass Nebraska’
Keyshawn Johnson Jr announced that he is taking time away from the Nebraska football program in the wake of his June citation for possession of marijuana, and it sounds like the decision was mostly mandated by his father.
Former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson said this week that he hopes his son returns to the Cornhuskers in January. However, Keyshawn Sr. said the younger Johnson needs to prove he can “mature” and act more like an adult.
“One thing you will not do as my son is you will not embarrass Nebraska, you will not embarrass Mike Riley and you will not embarrass this family,” Johnson Sr. says he told his son, per Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald. “If you mature and you’re ready to resume your football career and academic goals, then Nebraska will be ready to embrace you.”
Johnson Jr. has been living at home with his father. The former New York Jets receiver says he did not seek his son’s opinion about whether or not he wanted to leave the Nebraska program.
“I never asked him,” Johnson Sr. said. “At the end of the day, I don’t think that decision was in his hands. He squandered that decision. He still wants to play football, and he still wants to play for Nebraska. But if you don’t do the things you’re supposed to do, under the guidelines of me, it’s not going to happen.”
Johnson Jr. may take classes at a junior college this fall and he is not planning to play football elsewhere. In the meantime, Johnson Sr. says he is determined to teach his son that college football is not something you can take lightly.
“You’ve watched — on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter — everything’s a big party,” Johnson Sr. said. “You just want to get to college to party, but you don’t understand: You’re playing college football. It’s a business. And it’s a serious business. If you want to become successful — make it to the NFL — you’ve got to embrace it. You’ve got to own it. You don’t make it to the next level by cruising. There’s no cruise control.
There’s no ‘(Nebraska coach) Mike Riley is good friends with Keyshawn, so his son’s automatically going to play.’ That’s not the game. That’s not why he went to Nebraska. He went there to work his tail off. To have an opportunity to be successful. But when you don’t do that — and you squander that — what are you going to do?”
Based on some of the things Riley said recently, it was easy to conclude that Johnson Jr.’s leave of absence was not the equivalent of a suspension. His father might see it like one, however.