Athletes looking at colleges far from home hope to find comfort there. For Patrick Johnson II, built in connections to Iowa make it a viable option despite its long distance from his Maryland residence.
Johnson is friends with Hawkeye safety Miles Taylor, who is from the his state and worked out at the same training facility back there. Johnson also has an aunt who resides in Iowa.
"When we go to visit her, I'm going to get a personal meeting with the (Hawkeye) coaches and get the background on Iowa," Johnson said. "I'm looking forward to learning more about the school."
Johnson is trying to find a time that works best for his aunt. He plans to stay with her when he visits the Hawkeyes.
Iowa offered Johnson (6-0, 192) a scholarship at the end of last month, he said. The Hawkeyes told him they were recruiting him as an athlete.
"They asked me what I prefer and I told them that it's about playing football. It's not about where I play. I just like playing football. I don't have a (position) preference. Most schools ask whether I want to play offense or defense and I give them the same answer. It doesn't matter," the Potomac (MD) Bullis School standout said.
Johnson said he met with Iowa Assistant Chris White when he visited Bullis recently.
"We were able to talk a little bit. We just were seeing how each other was and we talked about recruiting. He said they were still looking at me and to stay patient. And now I got the offer," Johnson said.
"He said they like my versatility, being able to play both sides of the ball. He likes how I attack the ball on defense and how dangerous I am with the ball offensively. He said I'm a true athlete and I can be a weapon at any position on the field."
Johnson also reports scholarship offers from Boston College, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, James Madison, Marshall, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Virginia and Wisconsin. He's also hearing from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Massachusetts, Arizona State, Arkansas and Wake Forest. He said most schools are pursuing him as an athlete with the Badgers saying they like him as a safety.
Johnson, who said he's looking at a chemical engineering major, also runs sprints for his school's indoor and outdoor track teams.
"I plan on committing before the beginning of my senior football season so I can go into my last school year knowing what I want to do," he said.