Garden City (Kan.) cornerback Lonnie Johnson may still end up at Iowa State, but the Cyclones will need to continue recruiting him after he officially reclassified to the 2017 class and reopened his recruitment.
The 6-foot-3 Johnson, who was ranked as the No. 91 overall JUCO prospect in the 2016 class, committed to Iowa State in December and signed with the school in February. During the spring, it became clear that Johnson likely wouldn’t qualify, though he narrowly fell short following summer classes.
Wednesday he officially announced his reclassification. What’s next?
“Just focusing on school and taking the process slow at this time,” Johnson said. “I’m redshirting this fall so I can academically qualify in December to graduate. My GPA is at a 2.5 now, but I wasn’t able to get that in time to go to Iowa State with the classes and stuff. So my GPA was good but I didn’t have all the classes to graduate, so that was the reason I had to reclassify to 2017.”
Johnson appeared in 11 games last fall for Garden City, recording 36 tackles and five interceptions. After using his redshirt this fall, he is expected to graduate in December with two years to play two at his next school.
Iowa State is continuing to recruit Johnson, who Matt Campbell & Co. recruited out of high school before he went the JUCO route. While his offer list currently sits at two — Iowa State and Arkansas State — others are showing interest.
“If I get all my visits back I’m pretty much going to take all of them this time and make sure I make the right decision come December,” Johnson said. “I still talk to Iowa State and Memphis, Kentucky and Michigan State really.”
In high school, Johnson committed to Ohio State over offers from the likes of Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska. He later signed with Western Michigan but missed qualifying. Campbell recruited Johnson then and stuck with him in the years that followed.
“Coach Campbell really was the reason I committed, and the big program,” Johnson said. “Those things haven’t changed, but right now I’m taking a look at the rosters and being more careful with what school I choose just because of things that have happened at certain schools, like the Baylor situation.”
Johnson doesn’t plan to rush a decision and may take it up to the mid-year signing date in December. For now, Iowa State remains a top choice.
“Iowa State is still at the top of my list,” he said. “It’s just that I’m going to take the decision slower this time. It’s nothing against Iowa State, but my head coach here thought we needed to take the decision slower together. It’s a big decision.”