The hard work to increase speed has begun to pay dividends for Denver Johnson.
The 2015 three-star wide receiver commit out of Casady (OK) made speed a focal point just more than a year ago and has watched his 40-yard-dash time go from 4.9 to 4.59 since then. Through three games this season with Casady, Johnson has 18 receptions for 377 yards and five touchdowns.
“I like the fact that I can go up and get the ball over the defensive backs and now I’ve worked on increasing my speed, so that helps me with yards after the catch,” Johnson told AllCyclones.com. “But going up and getting the ball over [guys] whether I’m one-on-one or double-teamed has helped me so far.”
Johnson originally verbally committed to Tulsa early in the summer, just days before the Cyclones came in with an offer of their own. The 6-foot-3 receiver withdrew that commitment in mid-July and informed coach Paul Rhoads in the first days of August that he would be committing to the program.
Johnson, who had drawn interest from other Big 12 schools, said he still hears from various programs.
“I still receive interest from other schools,” Johnson said. “But I’m 100 percent committed to Iowa State and I let that be known.”
The Cyclones have dealt with various injuries at receiver this season, losing top playmaker Quenton Bundrage to an ACL tear during Week 1 and P.J. Harris to a fractured leg this past weekend. Johnson has watched closely.
“I love how they use a lot of those receivers,” Johnson said. “I know that the main guy went down, Quenton, and guys like the true freshman Allen Lazard have stepped up. I just like the depth. From top to bottom everybody is ready.”
Johnson still plans to make his official visit to Iowa State for Homecoming on Oct. 11 when Iowa State takes on Toledo. As the Cyclones’ 10th and most recent commit, he plans to also play a role in letting others hear why he chose to play in Ames.
“I’ll be in their ear talking about it, sharing what I like about it, sharing all of the good that I know so far,” Johnson said. “All of us are trying to add to the family.”