LINCOLN — Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher said this spring that he thinks his players can comprise the best secondary in the country in 2021.
If that’s the case, the Huskers’ best got a little better Sunday.
Tyreke Johnson, a transfer from Ohio State, announced on Twitter his decision to join the Huskers. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back logged eight tackles the past two seasons for the Buckeyes, who annually produce NFL draft picks from their secondary. Johnson, a five-star signee in 2018, redshirted that year — OSU’s starting corners were first-round draft picks — and played sparingly in 2019 and 2020.
He announced his transfer this spring. It’s not known what other schools Johnson visited. He will, in effect, be a fourth-year sophomore with three years remaining of eligibility after the NCAA stopped eligibility clocks for college players in 2020.
Johnson prepped at Trinity Christian Academy, the same high school as current starting NU safety Deontai WIlliams.
Johnson brings some experienced depth to a defensive back room that has three seasoned players (Williams, Marquel Dismuke and Cam Taylor-Britt) surrounded by youth. Sophomore Quinton Newsome is expected to start opposite Taylor-Britt at cornerback, while redshirt freshmen Myles Farmer and Noa Pola-Gates will be backups in the secondary. Nadab Joseph, Tamon Lynum and Braxton Clark will all be factors at cornerback. NU is welcoming three true freshmen, as well.
Johnson will take up one of the two remaining scholarships Nebraska had for its 2021 class, and he becomes the fourth transfer portal player in the class, joining Markese Stepp (Southern California), Chris Kolarevic (Northern Iowa) and Samori Toure (Montana). He helps replace a series of early departures from NU’s defensive backfield, including three in 2020 when Jaiden Francois, Henry Gray and Ronald Delancy, all from the Miami area, left the program within a year of joining it.