Several months ago, one of Iowa State’s top commits and JUCO prospects, Garden City (Kan.) CB Lonnie Johnson had committed to the Cyclones in December and signed his letter of intent on National Signing Day back in February.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound hybrid defensive back had many Iowa State fans excited about what the future could hold on the defensive side of the ball, with the key addition of Johnson. But in the recruiting world, some things just don’t always follow through. Johnson’s recruitment, was one of those cases that just didn’t follow through. During the spring, it started to become more clear that he would not be able to attend Iowa State this year. As a result, he had to take enroll back into his community college.
Johnson had to reclassify from a 2016 prospect to a 2017 prospect, and because of that all programs interested in him had to re-offer and start recruiting him all over again. Not to mention, but his commitment and signed papers to the Cyclones no longer matter.
“I wasn’t able to get my GPA up in time to go to Iowa State with the classes and stuff,” Johnson said about his situation. "It wasn’t really a decommitment, I reclassified so my recruitment re-opened - I mean literally opened back up. So, Iowa State had to re-offer and so did others. As a result, Iowa State kind of fell in line with everyone else.”
As expected, the Iowa State coaching staff is still going after Johnson hard, months after he had to reclassify. Cornerbacks coach D.K. McDonald is going after Johnson personally and is in contact with him daily. Not to mention, but Alex Golesh was in to see him during their bye week.
“Iowa State tries to talk to me everyday, but I am a really busy person. I really don’t have a chance to talk to schools a lot like I did anymore. I talk to Coach McDonald the most, he texts me all the time, I also hear from Coach Golesh and Coach Campbell every now and then. They are some real coaches, just some real good guys overall.
“The coaching staff came to see me during the bye week, Coach Golesh was the only one and he came to see me during their bye week. We just had a good talk and we both discussed how we were doing. Specifically, we talked about how I was doing in school and how I can come into Iowa State and be a leader. He told me I will most likely be a starter there. Really just telling me that I will still have to work for it, but just using me to the best abilities. I know they are losing both of their cornerbacks to graduation. They want to move me around in the secondary.”
Johnson took his official visit to Ames back in February, and would like to take another official to Iowa State. Due to NCAA rules, he can’t take an official to Iowa State, but an unofficial visit is still an option. West Virginia and Memphis are also two programs that Johnson is talking to and will receive an official from this winter.
“I visited Iowa State last in February. I liked that visit, the campus was amazing, I really like the program. There is not a lot to do in Ames, so you stay focused. It just feels like a cool campus, and I know the crowd will be live. I can’t visit Iowa State again for an official, since I reclassified because I already took my official there. I can still take an unofficial, but I don’t see that happening right now.
“I’ll be taking official visits to Memphis, West Virginia, and I’ll save my last official visit just in case another school comes in late. My official to Memphis is on Dec. 3rd and West Virginia Dec. 10th.”
Now that Johnson is taking a second go around at the recruiting process, he plans to take his recruitment slow. The former Iowa State signee will make his commitment after he graduates on Dec. 9th, where he will have two years left at the school of his choice when he enrolls early.
“I graduate December 9th, I only have a month here left before I graduate. After I graduate, I will make my decision and I will be early enrolling. The school I pick has to have a few factors for me. First, winning is a big thing because I only have two years left. Second, I need to be around the right coaches. Finally, a school that I can fit both on campus and where my abilities fit into their scheme.”