So much has happened in the past few weeks, Husker fans. My wife, Samantha, and I welcomed our third child into the world on January 8, 2022. A beautiful baby boy named Finnegan Allan Wieseler. He looks like his mother, thank God, and has been home for several weeks adjusting to life in this great big world. The same day he came into this world, Corn Nation was contacted by a incoming recruit about helping get his name out to Big Red faithful and build a following on his social media platform.
That recruit was Minnesota native, and future Husker running back, Emmett Johnson.
In my euphoria and joy, I jumped at the opportunity to speak with a recruit one-on-one, not realizing how crazy my life would be over these past several weeks. Emmett and I had spoken several times on the phone to set up our interview. Unfortunately, we had to keep pushing it back. I was finally able to sit down with him this week and it was definitely worth the wait.
A competitive, yet humble and soft-spoken young man, we talked about a variety of topics. Mostly about his football journey, but more about who Emmett is as a person away from the field. Here are some highlights from that interview.
Why did you choose to play for Nebraska?
“Nebraska just showed me the most love. I just feel like it’s the right fit for me. Playing wise, as well as academic wise. It’s a great chance for me to come in and battle with other running backs. Especially in the Big Ten, on the big stage like I’ve always wanted to my whole life.”
The “IT” Moment when he knew he was signing to play in Lincoln?
“What really did it for me was after my official visit and we were getting ready to leave. Me. my mom, my brother, and Coach (Ron) Brown we all sat down in Coach (Scott) Frost’s office and we talked for a little bit. He asked me about the visit. I loved everything about the visit. When he offered me right there, face to face, in front of my family it just showed. That really did it for me. It was my first time being offered in person. I got offered over the phone many times but to do it at the school, in front of the Head Coach, to somewhere I’m wanted, it just meant a lot to me and my family. Just seeing the smile on my mom’s face really did it for me.”
Did Minnesota and Coach (P.J.) Fleck show any interest in you?
“They followed me for a few years. It’s great to play for your hometown. I’d have loved to play for my hometown school but they haven’t offered me. It’s been a couple of years and I don’t know what the exact reason is. I was interested in the school, and the program. I guess I don’t have to know now, because I know where I’m going. If they wanted to offer, they would have.”
First impressions of new running backs coach, Bryan Applewhite?
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about him at TCU and how he’s a great running backs coach. My relationship with him is still building, but it’s been really well so far. I’ve been getting to know him, checking in on a daily basis, just talking to him. I think I’m in good hands. He seems to know a lot about the game of football and developing running backs to get to the next level. I’m excited to see what he has planned for us and I’m ready to go to work.”
First impressions of other new members of the offensive staff?
“I ran into Coach (Mark) Whipple during my visit. I love everything about him. I watched a lot of Pittsburgh football in the past. That fits my game perfectly. I’m an explosive player and he’s going to do a good job of using our talents and our strengths.”
“The LSU wide receivers coach ( Coach Mickey Joseph), I’m glad he brought in other talent, Decoldest (Crawford) and Trey Palmer, couple of other kids. I’m just excited to see what he has planned.”
The running back room is loaded with a lot of talent, but relatively unknown, how do you look to separate yourself from your peers?
“Compete. That’s the biggest thing. I’ve been competing my whole life. I wouldn’t want anything handed to me. I wouldn’t want to come in and have everything given to me. I want to earn everything that I earn. Earn the coaches respect, earn the players respect as well. So I’m coming in to work and whatever it takes, whatever I need to work on, whatever weakness I have, that’s what I’ll be willing to work on. I’m just ready to go.”
Who do you say you model your running style after?
“Watching some former running backs at Nebraska Ameer Abdullah is someone I play similar to. As well as a little of Adrian Peterson. Also, Alvin Kamara, how he’s changing the game being able to run routes out of the backfield. That’s something I can do really well. I would say I have a little of each of those running backs in my game.”
You also play basketball. When you’re not in school, how do you spend your free time?
“Me and my brother spend a lot of time making Tik Toks and listening to music. I like learning to cook. My parents make a lot of food. My parents are Liberian, so they make a lot of different types of food. Spending time with family, I’ve learned a lot from them. Watch Netflix.”
Last song you listened to?
“We were just in the car. It was “Jump” by DaBaby. Drake’s my favorite artist. Polo G a little bit. I listen to a little old Kanye.”
Who are your role models?
“My parents. Michael Jordan. Just his mentality. Kobe (Bryant). Kobe once said, “He didn’t want to have any regrets.” Having that mentality just separates you from other people. My brother says, “Keep the main thing, the main thing”. Tom Brady. What I get from him is he’s always playing with a chip on his shoulder. He’s still trying to be the best in the league. He had a similar situation to me. Coming out of college, no one really wanted him, except for one team. It’s like me going into college. We both faced adversity. We’ve both been through the hard times and really it molds me into who I am today.”
NIL(Name, Image, and Likeness) is new to college football. How do you hope it will benefit you in your time at Nebraska?
“Being from Minnesota and bringing my talents to Nebraska I feel like I’m not just bringing myself. I’m bringing a lot of my family here who supports me. I started this thing here in Minnesota. They call me e4 here, or Emmett, Just cause 4 is my number. I hope I can get that number at Nebraska. I might start like an e4 brand or something like that, just to get my name out there. Anyone in Nebraska who needs help. Help out with kids in the community or anything like that, I can help with. It’s really important to me and my family. I feel doing things like this. Interviews. Just getting my name out there to Husker fans will make the difference.”
We spoke for nearly half an hour and most of my rambling was that of someone who has the interview skills of a parakeet. But Emmett was patient and gracious. He is a young man who I expect great things from, in football for the Big Red and in life.
He congratulated me on the birth of my son without really knowing who I was or what my agenda might be. My only agenda is writing about my beloved Scarlet and Cream and the young men who carry on the traditions of those who wore the uniform before them. The Huskers are getting a good one in Emmett Johnson and I’m sure we will soon be hearing his name called out on Saturdays making memorable plays for the Huskers. I’ll leave you with my final question to Emmett.
What’s one thing you would like to say to Husker Nation before you arrive in the summer?
“Husker fans, get ready. It’s gonna be electric down there. I’m ready to get to work. I’m ready to compete. GO BIG RED!”
Watch the full interview below and be sure to follow Emmett on his social media platforms as he begins his journey as a Husker.
Please follow Mr. Johnson on social media!
EMMETT JOHNSON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
- TWITTER- @EmmettJohnson_
- INSTAGRAM- @emmettj_
- INSTAGRAM- @e4Motivation