D.J. Johnson commits to Iowa
Every time that cornerback D.J. Johnson visited the Hawkeyes, he came home with the feeling that Iowa City is a special place. Now, the 6-foot-0, 170-pound Indianapolis native will get a chance to spend the next four years there as he verbally committed to the Iowa coaching staff today.
“I think what played the biggest role was probably just the people at Iowa,” Johnson told HawkeyeReport.com. “I just think it’s a special place.”
"It's a great environment and everyone supports the Hawkeyes. Everywhere you turn, there's an Iowa shirt. It’s hard to describe, but there’s just something that feels different about Iowa.”
The Hawkeyes made Johnson a priority early on in the recruiting process, offering him a scholarship in February and putting him at the top of their board at cornerback.
"They were one of the schools that really believed in me early and stayed with me through the whole recruiting process," said Johnson. "Coming in there next year, I can get coached by Coach Parker, who has a great track record, and play early."
Johnson, who had narrowed his choices down to Iowa and Notre Dame, also held offers from Duke, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Ball State, Western Michigan, Toledo, Northern Illinois, and Bowling Green.
Regardless of where he decided to go, the three-star prospect decided that he wanted to make his college announcement on August 22nd, which is his mother's birthday. Today, he fulfilled that promise and checked off one of his major goals.
"It's an emotional day for both of us," Johnson said. "For me personally, it completes one of my goals and that was to make sure my mom doesn’t have to pay for college."
"Just to make it official on her birthday, that’s big for me because it takes a lot of pressure off her," he continued. "She was emotional about it, but she was really happy and it made me happy that she was happy."
Now, Johnson looks forward to focusing on his senior year of high school at North Central as the team looks to build on their 1-0 start to the season.
"We’re coming off a win and now I can get back to focusing on nothing but football instead of everybody asking me about recruiting," said Johnson. "Getting that decision off my chest, it will take a lot of pressure off and I can just focus on nothing but football and school this year."
Overall, Johnson is commitment No. 12 for the Iowa coaching staff in the Class of 2018 and the third from the state of Indiana as he joins Tyrone Tracy Jr. from Decatur Central and Anthony Torres from Mishawaka Penn. The Hawkeyes are also looking to add Warren Central defensive back Julius Brents to the group in the near future as well.
See highlights from Johnson's junior year at North Central in the video below.