October 24, 2012

Safety from Iowa Western ready for a visit

With three years left to play three years of college football and a planned early graduation to boot, Iowa Western free safety Isaiah Johnson a very attractive recruit for a college football team in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Of course a 4.51 time in the 40-yard dash and three interceptions in half a season of junior college football doesn't hurt either.

The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Johnson parlayed his skill and stats into his first Division I scholarship offer last week from the University of Wyoming.

"I was talking to (Wyoming defensive line coach Matt) Rahl and he wanted me to come up and take a visit soon," Johnson said Tuesday. "I am supposed to be a mid-year graduate. He wanted me to come up and see the school and just talk to them. I think we are going to set up an official visit date coming up soon.

"I think it would be a great school," Johnson continued. "I have researched them. they have nice facilities. I think they have a nice stadium and I bet the fan base is pretty nice too. I wouldn't mind going there."

This season Johnson has accounted for three interceptions, two passes broken up and 28 tackles. Johnson said he has been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.51 seconds and carries a 35-inch vertical leap. Those last numbers in particular help him excel when the ball is in the air.

"I feel like I am more of a ballhawk," Johnson said. "I am always around the ball. I can tackle, but I feel like I am more of an interception type of back who can play the ball in the air."

He has been playing great for us," said Iowa Western Recruiting Coordinator Mike Strohmeier. "He is a bigger kid, 6-1, 205 pounds or so. He is a really smart kid and has been doing everything we ask for us. He is the quarterback of our DB's."

The Cary, North Carolina native said he took something of a broken road to get to Council Bluffs and Iowa Western, but the Tampa Creek alum said he is happy with his choices.

"I started at Western Carolina out of high school," Johnson said. "I got hurt and got a medical redshirt. I just wanted to transfer from Western. I transferred after the spring game last year. I heard about this school and they send a lot of people out (to larger colleges). I had a friend here and called the coach. I gave him my film and wanted me come in.

"I think it is easier to get schools here because our coaches are real good at getting out your tape and letting other coaches know about you."

Johnson said he is hearing from Arizona State, UCLA, Purdue, Louisiana-Lafayette and Old Dominion at this point. He said he is very likely to visit Wyoming and UCLA before making a decision on where he will spend his next three years. For Johnson, a good education (Sports Management major), good position coaches and the opportunity to play right away rank high on his list of priorities.

One recruiting advantage Wyoming may have is the fact Malkaam Muhammad has already committed to play at Wyoming after his time at Iowa Western is done. Johnson said the idea of having someone he knows in Laramie already is a mark in Wyoming's favor.

"It makes a big difference," Johnson said. "I know I am cool with him. I know his brother starts at linebacker for the team and it would be great if they could show me around and get me used to the school."

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