JoJo Johnson

Iowa’s reputation for producing quality players in the secondary stretches well beyond its state borders. It certainly shows up on the recruiting trail.

“I know they’ve had some great defensive backs come out of Iowa like Micah Hyde and Desmond King,” Class of 2021 Merrillville (IN) High’s JoJo Johnson told HN.

It’s one of the reasons the Hawkeyes’ offer to him on Tuesday was something special.

“It was exciting because Iowa is a really good football team and program with a lot of tradition. So me getting an offer from them means a lot,” he said.

Iowa jumped into the mix with fellow Power 5 programs Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State and Washington State, all of whom have reportedly offered him scholarships. Most of the MAC schools also have offered Johnson, who was verbally committed to Cincinnati from May 1 to the middle of last month.

“As of right now, my top schools, which are not in any order, are Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue,” he said.

Johnson (5-11, 170) indicates that Hawkeye assistants Phil Parker and Kelvin Bell are leading the program’s pursuit of him.

“Coach Parker and coach Bell are real down-to-earth coaches and coach their players hard to get the best out of them,” he said. “What I want to learn about is what defense they run and learn more about the tradition.”

Johnson, who wants to major in Communications when he gets to college, is taking time in picking a school after having de-committed once already. The process is made more difficult by the dead period that runs through the end of the year.

“I don’t have a set date as to when I’m going to make a decision but some key things that could make it easier to make it would be relationships with the coaches and academics,” he said.

Rivals and 247Sports rank Johnson as a three-star recruit. The latter sees him as the No. 66-rated Athlete nationally in the ’21 cycle and the No. 16 player in Indiana regardless of position.

Here’s a look at Johnson’s senior highlights: