With three seniors and a junior expected to open the season on Iowa's starting defensive line, opportunities exist for incoming freshmen to earn playing time up front. Donavan Johnson hopes to push his way through to an opening.
"Coach (Darrell) Wilson told me that I'm already in the two-deep," the Class of 2010 recruit said. "It will depend on what I show them this summer to see how much playing time I'll get."
Johnson signed with the Hawkeyes in February after a successful prep career at Martin High in Arlington, Texas. Scout.com rated him as a three-star recruit and its 68th best defensive tackle nationally in the Class of ‘10.
It still is up in the air at which position Johnson will line up at Iowa.
"The last we talked, it was about the outside, defensive end," the 6-foot-4, 270-pound Johnson said.
None of the aforementioned possibilities will matter unless Johnson achieves a necessary test score to qualify academically. He is awaiting a Saturday SAT result, which is expected in another 10 days or so.
"I needed to raise my score 30 points," Johnson said. "I feel good about it. I didn't struggle with any one section. I took a lot of SAT prep to be ready."
Johnson took the SAT for the second time. He last attempted the ACT Feb. 4.
"I was close, but I don't remember how close," he said of the ACT result.
If Johnson falls short on the most recent SAT, he will have another opportunity at the beginning of June.
"I'm just trying to push forward and stay positive," Johnson said. "I'll be able to see the results of the test on the computer in a few weeks. I'm going to keep working like I'll make it because I believe I will."
Johnson is training to prepare himself to play as a true freshman. He's working on speed and agility and utilizing a weight lifting program provided to him by Iowa coaches.
"I want to come in and make the biggest impact I can as a freshman," Johnson said. "If they need me to play, great. If they want me to sit out, it will just give me another year to get ready."
If Johnson earns the required score on his most recent SAT, he plans on being in Iowa City on June 6 to begin training.
"I'm getting really excited," he said. "I can't wait to get up there this summer, get into the weight program and see where that gets me."