2009 Outlook: Dan Johnston’s willingness to change last spring opened the door for him to earn extensive playing time as a true freshman • Added outfield duties after a couple of early injuries took away NU’s outfield depth and parlayed that into a significant role on the Husker travel roster • Was the Huskers’ primary utility player, as he appeared in 33 contests, including 11 starts • Hit .260 with 11 RBIs, while hitting over .300 in league action • Provided versatility and athleticism across the diamond along with an advanced knowledge of the game • Suffered a severe shoulder injury early in fall practice that required surgery and will likely keep him out the entire season • Diligently working on his rehabilitation program and hopes to be back to near 100 percent for the start of 2009 fall practice.
2008: Johnston filled a valuable role as the Huskers’ utility player, primary pinch hitter and pinch runner as a true freshman • Appeared in 33 contests, hitting .260 with 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored, as he earned most of his regular playing time as NU’s fourth outfielder • Led the Huskers in pinch-hitting, going 4-for-9 (.444) in that role, equaling the most pinch hits by a Husker since 2003 • Started at designated hitter against Oral Roberts in the NCAA Regional, going hitless in three at-bats • Was used as a defensive replacement against Kansas State in the Big 12 Tournament on May 23 • Hit .316 with seven of his 11 RBIs in just 15 Big 12 appearances • Enjoyed his best game of the year at No. 13 Texas, coming off the bench to go 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and scoring twice in a 14-4 win on March 28, as he established season bests in hits, doubles, runs and RBIs • Turned in a 2-for-6 effort with a double in the nightcap against Louisiana-Lafayette • Was 2-for-4 with an RBI in a two-game series against Creighton, driving in the go-ahead run on April 22, as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in a 1-all game • Started the series opener against Kansas on April 18, going 0-for-2 with a walk, stolen base and run scored in NU’s 7-6 win • Went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in his only start at Oklahoma State on April 12 • Drove in the tying run against Oklahoma in the series finale on March 23 • Came through with the biggest hit of his young career at Kansas State on March 16, with a two-run 10th-inning single off All-Big 12 closer Daniel Edwards in a 5-3 win • Made his first start of the year at Kansas State on March 15, going 0-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored • Drove in the first two runs of his career against South Dakota State on March 11, going 1-for-1 with a pair of RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base • Went 1-for-1 with a run scored in the nightcap against UC Riverside on March 1.
Papillion-LaVista High School: Johnston was one of the top high school players in the state playing for Jim Thomas at Papillion-LaVista High School • Was a three-year starter at shortstop for the Monarchs, finishing his prep career with a .389 career average • Tabbed as a first-team Super-State infielder by the Lincoln Journal Star and second-team All-Nebraska shortstop by the Omaha World-Herald after hitting .342 with nine doubles, 19 RBIs and 22 runs scored as a senior to help Papillion-LaVista to a 21-6 record • Selected as a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball prior to his senior year • Garnered second-team all-state accolades from both of the state’s major papers in 2006, after hitting .448 with 24 RBIs, 29 runs scored and 13 stolen bases in helping Papillion-LaVista to a 21-12 mark and a state tournament appearance • Also played American Legion Baseball, leading his team to a state runner-up finish as a senior after hitting .433 with four homers, 13 doubles and five triples • Posted the second-highest batting average in the American Legion regional in Lewiston, Idaho, hitting .583 • Collected honorable-mention all-state laurels as a sophomore • Earned a total of nine letters in high school, as he also played basketball and tennis for the Monarchs • Performed well in the classroom throughout his high school career, making the honor roll all four years at PLHS, as well as collecting academic all-state recognition.
Personal: Born on Jan. 14, 1989, in Papillion, Neb. • Parents are Chuck and Kathy Johnston • Has one brother (Scott) • He earned his bachelor's degree in May 2013 as a business education/cooperative education major.