Iowa had one of their big-time targets on campus over the weekend in four-star linebacker Thomas Johnston of Spanish Fort, Alabama. Iowa has always been hanging around for Johnston but they have emerged as a prime contender lately. That was evidence by him taking an official visit to Iowa City.
One of the reasons was his family connections to the state of Iowa. His grandparents live in Cresco while he has an aunt and an uncle that live in Cedar Rapids. They're excited about the prospects of him playing for the Hawkeyes.
"They're all excited about the opportunity that I could play there," Johnston said of his family in Iowa. "My uncle has dreamed about it for 18 years. He's joked around about it and has a bunch of Iowa jerseys for Christmas. He's excited. I'm excited to see where I end up."
"They were all able to get a tour of everything," he added. "It was definitely great seeing them again."
Johnston himself raved about the Iowa visit as well.
"They're definitely back up there," he admitted about the Hawkeyes. "I enjoyed the whole visit. The coaches and players were great to me. I enjoyed everything about it. They went 8-4 and that's not a bad season especially with the teams they play and that they beat Michigan. The reason they're so successful is their work ethic."
"It seems a lot like Spanish Fort in that way," Johnston continued. "The way they attack the day. It's only an hour and a half practice but it's an hour and a half full speed. I like that they do that."
The teams still alive for Johnston's services are Arkansas, Iowa, Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn, and Arizona State. He'll be taking two more official visits.
"I'm going to fly out to Arizona State for an official visit the first weekend after the dead period," he shared. "Then I'll take an official visit to either LSU or Ole Miss. I'll probably only get two more because I have another all-star game that I'm in, unless I'm able to take one mid-week. I hope to make my decision mid-January."
Auburn is a team that's close to home and isn't out of the race, either.
"Auburn has said that I have an opportunity there," Johnston pointed out. "I know the guys going there. I definitely would enjoy it. The guys are great. I love the way they play the game."