Hawkeye Sophomore DJ Johnson Enters Transfer Portal

May 20, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A second Iowa sophomore has entered the transfer portal this week. On Wednesday, D.J. Johnson confirmed with HN that he was leaving the Hawkeyes. Running back Samson Evans announced he was exiting on Monday.

Johnson began last season as the starter at Iowa’s hybrid linebacker-safety position, the Cash. An injury to starting cornerback Matt Hankins pushed him back to cornerback, where he started against Iowa State. After an early hiccup, he rebounded in that contest to earn Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week honors.

Johnson played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman last season. The Indianapolis North Central High product recorded 14 tackles, including 11 solo stops. He also broke up two passes.

Iowa’s Holiday Bowl depth chart listed Johnson as a backup cornerback to starter Michael Ojemudia. He would have been competing for playing time with Matt Hankins, a two-year starter, Julius Brents and Riley Moss, who started while Ojemudia was injured in ’19.

Brents started games at cornerback as a freshman, and Terry Roberts was used in sub-packages last fall. True freshman Dane Belton took over at the Cash position last season.

In addition to Hankins, Moss, Brents and Roberts, Daraun McKinney and Jermari Harris red shirted at the cornerback position last season. A.J. Lawson, Brenden Deasfernandes and Reggie Bracy were signed in the ’20 recruiting class, although one or more could shift to safety or Cash.

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Johnson came to Iowa as a highly-regarded prospect. He reported scholarship offers from Notre Dame, LSU and others.

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