Nebraska offers E. Texas WR

Gilmer, Texas standout Manuel Johnson stars in three sports, but his future will be on the gridiron. School is out and the camping season has begun as he leaves tomorrow for Stillwater, Okla., Manhatten, Kan., and Norman, Okla.

Manuel Johnson comes in at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. He has 4.5 speed in the 40 which allowed him to haul in 79 catches for 1,168 yards and 13 touchdowns. In the latest Texas Hot 100, Manuel was rated No. 25.

His performance on the field last year was good enough to earn second-team all-state, district offensive MVP, first-team all- east Texas. Johnson plays in District 11-3A. 3A is Texas' third largest conference in the state.

It has also helped him reel in quite a few offers so far.

"It's going to take a while to name them; Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, TCU, Nebraska, Houston, Purdue, SMU, Arkansas, Tulsa and Florida."

The obvious that you see in Johnson is a natural wide receiver, good size and enough speed to stretch the field. "I have sure hands. My hands are pretty good," Johnson said.

For the most part all of the schools that offered visited Johnson's high school during the evaluation period. The exception to that was Purdue. The offer from Purdue surprised Johnson somewhat along with Florida coming to Gilmer to evaluate Johnson as well as their offer.

This weekend Johnson will leave to camp at Oklahoma State. From there he will go to Kansas State and stop at Oklahoma on his way home. One of the most important things for Johnson when choosing a school are the coaches.

"I'm looking at the coaches. Make sure that I am in good with the coaches. (Distance) won't really be a big deal."

Some of the early leaders for Johnson are currently Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Florida, Houston, and Kansas State.

The Cornhuskers present a rare opportunity to Johnson. The tradition at Nebraska has been for big offensive lines and a powerful running game. With Bill Callahan in Lincoln now Johnson could begin a new tradition at Nebraska.

"Coach Gill is recruiting me from Nebraska. He used to be a quarterback for Nebraska. He was telling about how the offense has been changing since Bill Callahan has come in. He said that it would be a good place for me to start a passing tradition at Nebraska. I could be one of the receivers to start it off."

The change from option football to the west coast offense definitely has Johnson interested in Nebraska. He is drawing parallels from the Raiders to the Cornhuskers. "People that have seen the Raiders play see Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Jerry Porter and Rich Gannon. I guess it's what you see what they did with their offense."

"To me it does (make a difference). It is a complete turn-around from what they (Nebraska) used to do."

There aren't any summer plans set for Johnson to visit Nebraska. However, he believes that he will save an official for Nebraska this fall.


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