Iowa’s defensive backfield got a bit thinner today as DJ Johnson announced his intentions to transfer from the program:
Proverbs 16:9 “A mans heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps” pic.twitter.com/7VPoDkziXd— DJ JOHNSON (@DjJohnson1127) May 20, 2020
A redshirt freshman this past season, Johnson will have three years of eligibility remaining wherever he ends up.
Johnson played significant minutes in every contest but the Penn State and Purdue games in 2019, and started four of the first five games games on the year, including the Miami game at the ca$h position.
He was quintessential in Iowa’s win at Iowa State, where he recored 8 tackles and 2 pass breakups. With the departures of Michael Ojemudia and Geno Stone, it was assumed he’d play an even larger role in the defensive backfield in 2020, especially given his versatility to play corner and ca$h.
An Indianapolis native, Johnson was a three-star prospect out of high school. He had offers to attend LSU and Notre Dame, but committed to the Hawkeyes.
Absent Johnson, the presumed starting cornerbacks seem to be Matt Hankins, Julius Brents and Riley Moss, with Dane Belton taking over at ca$h. Terry Roberts and Jermari Harris have been in the discussion as well, and it’s likely a new face will see some time once football activities resume. Still, it’s a little surprising to see such a young player at a position of strength leave when, on paper, it seems that his playing time will only increase.
Things are almost certainly more complicated than just playing time, however.
I owe no one an explanation but understand PT was far from the issue. I’m a team first guy wouldn’t leave my team for those type of circumstances.— DJ JOHNSON (@DjJohnson1127) May 20, 2020
In any case, best of luck to Johnson and Go Hawk$.