Grayshirt Or Not, ISU A 'Win-Win' For Johnson

Florida cornerback Mike Johnson committed to Iowa State following an official visit and says he doesn't have a problem if the Cyclones use a 'grayshirt' on him. Read more inside

As recounted by Clearwater Countryside (FL) cornerback Mike Johnson, here's how his Iowa State pledge went down Sunday when he met with coach Paul Rhoads for the last one-on-one of the day:

Rhoads: "So, how did you like your trip?"

Johnson: "I loved it, I loved it."

Rhoads: "So, you plan on traveling somewhere else next week?"

Johnson: "Nah, I just want to cut it short. I don't want to visit anywhere. I'm committing. I don't want to go anywhere else."

Sometimes it's that easy. After seeing Ames for the first time and watching Rhoads mill about, Johnson, the No. 131 cornerback in 2014, knew he'd cancel a Jan. 31 visit to either Louisville or Marshall and commit to ISU.

"The Iowa State area was awesome," Johnson told "The fans were ridiculous. They love all the players, no matter who they are.

"What really got me was that Coach Rhoads was always there. Wherever we'd go, he was there. All the other places I went, I'd barely seen a head coach. But he was always talking with somebody."

With 24 players in the 2014 class and likely to add a few more, Iowa State discussed with Johnson the possibility of grayshirting, in which he'd spent the coming fall working out and taking classes and get on the scholarship books when he enrolled in January as a member of the 2015 class.

"It's OK, I'd still be a Cyclone," Johnson said. "I'm still going to be a part of Iowa State so it doesn't matter. If I do grayshirt and come [in January], I could have a better chance at starting.

"If I do come in as a freshman I can still do the same thing. It's a win-win situation. There's no one else that was offering something better than that. I don't have a problem with it."

Johnson said the ISU coaches told him he could attend a local Junior College in Florida for a semester while improving as a football player.

"If I add some weight and a little more speed, I'll be good," Johnson said.

Johnson at one time also held scholarship offers from Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, USF, Syracuse, UCF and Western Kentucky.

Says National Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg: "There's a lot to like about Johnson. He has slightly above-average size and good length ... a good pull for the Cyclones."

Johnson told his academics are in good standing and he's not concerned about qualifying.

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