D.J. Johnson’s recruitment took a big step forward Wednesday. The Indianapolis North Central High cornerback picked up an Iowa offer.

Johnson is expected to move that relationship forward in a couple of weeks. He’s planning on visiting the Hawkeyes on March 5, he told HN.

“They’ve only been recruiting me for about four weeks or so, so it was a surprise that they offered. To be honest, I don’t know a lot about Iowa. I just know they have a great football program. I’m looking forward to learning more though,” he said.

Johnson (6-0, 170) can lean on a local resource to learn about the Hawkeyes. Anthony Dean, an assistant at North Central, knows them well after playing receiver at Iowa (1991-94) and then serving as an assistant athletics director there from ’97-05.

“I’ve already talked to (Dean) a lot about it,” Johnson said.

“I’ve coached D.J. the last two years and I believe he would be a great fit for the Hawkeyes,” Dean told HN.

Assistant coach Kelvin Bell is leading Iowa’s recruitment of Johnson. Bell delivered the offer to Johnson on Wednesday.

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“Coach Bell’s a real cool guy. I’m looking forward to building a relationship with him,” Johnson said.

That process will continue early next month when Johnson stops to see the Hawkeyes.

“I’m wanting to learn about the education more, about their football program and just get a feel for the environment and the atmosphere there,” he said.

Johnson reports scholarship offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Purdue and Western Michigan. He’s hearing from Indiana, Penn State, Minnesota and others. The stock is rising for the talented cornerback.

“I’m starting to gain a lot of attention at the moment, so I’m not really sure as far as what schools are at the top for me right now,” he said.

Dean is North Central’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. The Panthers run a 4-3.

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Hawkeye junior walk-on knows his role and plays it well.

“We play all different coverages on the back end,” Johnson said. “I think my length, speed, ball skills and aggressiveness are some things that will help me succeed at the next level.”

Johnson is taking his time with the process.

“As far as committing, for right now, I don’t plan on doing that until national signing day (in February of ’18),” he said.