Name: Nykeim Johnson
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 168 lbs.
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High School: Friendship Academy
2019 stats: After a breakout 2018, Johnson’s 2019 season featured a shocking return to earth. He only recorded 99 receiving yards and no touchdowns in 2019 after grabbing 41 balls for 565 receiving yards and four receiving TDs the previous season.
2020 projections: Johnson should be Tommy DeVito’s top insider receiver in 2020, but he needs to find the form that made him a noted impact player in 2018. He’ll be SU’s second choice wide receiver after Taj Harris, and DeVito needs some offense diversity after the departures of Trishton Jackson, Sean Riley, and Moe Neal. Johnson should provide just that.
How’d he get here?: Johnson had offers from Virginia, Bowling Green, Charlotte, and Hawaii, but the Orange won out in the end.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Three stars all around.
Money quote: Johnson spent some time during 2018 practicing as an outside receiver. That added trait could make him a more versatile weapon in this year’s offense.
“They just wanted a guy who could be flexible in the offense,” Johnson said. “And I wanted to be that guy who could step up and take on that challenge.”
Twitter feed: @nykeimjohnson
Tweets of wonder: Remember Chris Elmore’s Jungle Rumble series last season? His first guest was Johnson.
.@chriselmore36 is taking over our players’ series. Here’s the premiere of Jungle Rumble, featuring @nykeimjohnson pic.twitter.com/gYuyJ2Grwx— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) August 29, 2019
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Who likes cooking? “Chef” sees Jon Favreau’s character go from a highly respected cook to out of the restaurant business to running a food truck to back on top. Johnson’s career is certainly at it’s down stage right now, but there’s no reason to believe that he can’t return to his 2018 form.
Interesting nugget o’interest: With no more Riley, who’s up to return punts and kicks? Johnson’s name should come up in conversation. He’s quietly returned 11 kicks and two punts in his SU career.
Let’s get a look at ya: Most Syracuse fans want to forget 2019 happened. Let’s flash back to happier times.