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Keyshawn Johnson Jr. taking leave from Nebraska Huskers


The start of highly touted WR Keyshawn Johnson Jr.'s college football career is on hold. Johnson Jr. will take a leave of absence from Nebraska with the hope of returning in January, according to his father, former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson Sr.

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The Huskers freshman received a citation for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia earlier this month after police found 4.5 grams of marijuana in Johnson's dorm room, according to a university police report.

"You're in college now," Johnson Sr. said, per the Omaha World-Herald. "You're an adult. You're not a kid. You take a look at it from afar and let me know how important it is to you. ... One thing you will not do as my son is you will not embarrass Nebraska, you will not embarrass (coach) Mike Riley and you will not embarrass this family. If you mature and you're ready to resume your football career and academic goals, then Nebraska will be ready to embrace you."

Johnson Sr. said the decision was a mutual one between himself, Cornhuskers coach Mike Riley, and the Nebraska athletic department. Johnson Jr., however, was not involved in the decision.

"I never asked him. At the end of the day, I don't think that decision was in his hands. He squandered that decision," Johnson Sr. said.

Riley also confirmed the leave of absence to the World-Herald.

Johnson Jr. posted to Twitter in the wake of the news:

Johnson Jr. was a four-star recruit from Calabasas (Calif.) High School. He chose Nebraska over USC, Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State when he committed to the Cornhuskers in March of 2016, in part due to the strong relationship between his father and Riley. He joined the Cornhuskers program when he enrolled in January, and participated, on a limited basis due to illness, in Nebraska's spring practice. Riley was USC's offensive coordinator when Johnson starred for the Trojans in 1994 and 1995.

"There's no '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," Johnson Sr. said. "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?"

Johnson Sr. was the first overall pick of the 1996 NFL Draft out of USC. He played 11 NFL seasons, was a member of the Super Bowl XXXVII-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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