All the attention at Oklahoma City Casady goes to Scout 300 offensive guard Josh Wariboko, but there was no way people didn’t recognize wide receiver Denver Johnson.
With his size, he sticks out like a sore thumb at the school. But once they watch him run, they’d have to quietly scratch him off their list and return to Wariboko.
It was obvious, almost painfully obvious that what Johnson lacked was speed. His answer was to start working with QuickTwitch training.
Based in the Dallas area, QuickTwitch coaches Clay Mack and David Robinson (a former walk-on receiver at Oklahoma), worked diligently with Johnson to increase his speed.
Last May he clocked in at 4.9 seconds for his 40-yard dash. In June of 2013 the time was 4.72. No elite program was going to look at a receiver at 4.7 no matter how gifted he could be in other areas.
“Working with QuickTwitch and guys like DaMarkus Lodge, they got to point out my weaknesses,” Johnson said. “After the season, QuickTwitch went to work with my weakness and get more specific with my speed.”
Johnson has gone from a 4.9 in May 2013 to running a 4.59 this summer. Has it made a difference? Oh, no doubt, said Johnson.
“Absolutely,” Johnson said. “Everything is easier when you’re faster.”
Once committed to Tulsa, it became obvious he might start looking around when the Cyclones came calling. He had developed a good bond with Mark Mangino, and it felt like a countdown for when he would pledge to Iowa State.
That countdown went to zero Monday afternoon when he confirmed he is going to spend his future in Ames. And he couldn’t be happier about that.
“The coaching staff is incredible,” Johnson said. “They’re all great guys. The facilities are great and just the overall vibe I got from Ames. I just knew it was right for me to make the decision.”
Johnson has been pretty honest about saying he’s interested in any schools interested in him. His tone has changed as he said he’s 100 percent committed to Iowa State.
That doesn’t mean other schools won’t come knocking on his door. While some schools congratulated him this week, others let it be known they’re not done. Johnson said Kansas State and Texas Tech were two notable schools that said they’re keeping their eyes open for him.
Johnson isn’t worried about that right now, though. No visits are planned or even being thought about. The only visit he knows he’s taking is another one for Ames for his official visit.
“This feels great,” Johnson said. “I don’t know when I’m going on the visit. I’m talking with the other commits to see what they want to do. But I know I’ll be back.”