Cyclones Aiming to Flip Johnson

Iowa State offered Denver Johnson on Tuesday, a few days after he committed to Tulsa. The Cyclones have a great shot to flip the receiver — his cousin is a former ISU star, he loves Mark Mangino and he'll be in Ames soon. Read it all in the Q&A

Denver Johnson has had quite a week. The three-star Casady (OK) wide receiver committed to Tulsa on June 8 over an offer from Utah State. On Tuesday, however, Johnson — a 6-foot-2.5-foot, 212-pounder — received an Iowa State offer and cemented plans to camp at Ames later in the month.

Scout.com's OKPreps ranks Johnson as the No. 19 player in the Sooner State for the class of 2015, citing his 39-catch, 506-yard, five-touchdown season in 2013. Iowa State signed one player from Oklahoma in 2014, running back Michael Warren.

AllCyclones.com spoke with Johnson over the phone Wednesday.

AllCyclones.com: How'd you find out about the Iowa State offer?

Johnson: "Coach Mangino, the offensive coordinator, he sent me a DM on Twitter and told me to call him, so I gave him a call. I talked to him, he told me, then he passed the phone to the head coach and then the receivers coach, then I talked to Mangino again. So I got to talk to all three guys."

"I could've jumped out of my body once I heard the news"

AC: What did they say they liked about you?

Johnson: "I'd been talking to Coach Mangino. He came down to the school during spring ball in May and he liked my size, my route-running and said once they saw me in person they were in love with me."

AC: Did they say anything about your very recent commitment to Tulsa?

Johnson: "We didn't even mention that (laughs)."

AC: What are your thoughts on all of that?

Johnson: "I'm committed to Tulsa but at the same time there's still a long time till Signing Day so I don't want to cut off my options and not look at them."

AC: Growing up in Big 12 territory, how excited were you to get that first conference offer?

Johnson: "Absolutely. I could've jumped out of my body once I heard the news."

AC: Iowa State slow-plays its offers. They'll target guys in March and not offer them until June. Did you have the impression you'd get an offer down the road?

Johnson: "We were talking, saw him at school and talked to him on the phone a couple weeks ago for a long time. He was talking about how if he was the head coach I'd already have an offer. I knew it was coming after he said that. They said they had receivers film breakdowns coming up, so expect some good news from that, and I had already planned to come to camp in June, on June 20. Coach Mangino said Coach Rhoads would like me at camp, but they've already pulled the trigger, so I guess they liked my film yesterday."

AC: It's somewhat rare for someone with an offer to travel a few hours just to camp. Does that speak to your competitive nature?

Johnson: "Yeah, I just want to get up there. The head coach hasn't seen me in person. I want him to see why he offered me."

AC: Have you done your research with the facilities?

Johnson: "Coach Mangino was telling me about them, I'm excited about to get the future of Iowa State football. I have a cousin who just graduated from there and he's with the Jets now. Him and his family have told me great things about Iowa State so I'm just ready to get up there."

AC: Oh wow, who's your cousin?

Johnson: "Jeremy Reeves."

AC: Have you spoken to him since you got the offer?

Johnson: "I talked to him the other day about me going to camp and earning an offer, but not since yesterday. I should give him a call."

AC: Tell me what happens if you go to Iowa State and you really like it?

Johnson: "Well, I don't know. Like I've said, I'm committed to Tulsa and that's all I have so far. If I go up there and it looks amazing — they're already high on my list because I like Coach Mangino and the Jeremy connection. I'm ready to get up there and see what it's like."


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