Jamahl Johnson breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday when he heard from the new Iowa State coaching staff, which called to reaffirm his offer and thus commitment.
The athletic 6-foot, 300-pound tackle from Prior Lake (Minn.) committed to the Cyclones in late September but reached out to schools in the last week to be safe following Iowa State's coaching change. Now, he’s locked in.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders for me,” Johnson said of knowing he's committed. “It’s a big relief now knowing I’ve gotten in contact with [Matt Campbell] and I’m getting my official set in January. We just got everything cleared away and I finally got to talk to him so it’s just a big weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Johnson, who Iowa State sees as an under-the-radar prospect, committed to Iowa State over South Dakota. He picked up an offer from Northern Iowa within the last week. The athletic tackle camped with Iowa State in June where he put up impressive numbers, including a 4.90 in the 40-yard dash.
Johnson, who received early interest from Iowa and Minnesota, was offered prior to the CyHawk game in September and committed one week later. Iowa State running backs coach Louis Ayeni was his initial recruiter.
Wednesday, less than 24 hours after calling, Iowa State was in Johnson’s home as defensive graduate assistant Derek Hoodjer stopped for an in-home visit.
“It just shows that they really want me and they really want me to come down,” Johnson said. “They’ve got me as their No. 1 priority, to come the next day that they were available to come. All of these things that they’re saying and everything he showed me at the home visit was just amazing. Everything in the field of study that I want to major in, just everything he showed me he was so clear with everything. I actually have not been so eager to want to go back down. I want to be at Iowa State right now.”
Johnson will take his official visit Jan. 15, but hopes to catch a basketball game on an unofficial trip, though he doesn’t know if that will come before or after.
Iowa State sees versatility in Johnson and Campbell said he could play different positions depending on the scheme.
“He likes how I’m extremely versatile, how I play the right and left end and I play defensive end and defensive tackle,” Johnson said of Campbell. “I can fit into his mix defenses.”
And now he knows that he'll be playing at Iowa State.
“I’m extremely excited for him to be my future head coach. I can’t wait to go down there and meet him,” Johnson said. “I’m all Iowa State now.”