Iowa adds commit from coveted Indianapolis cornerback D.J. Johnson

Chris Cuellar
Hawk Central

D.J. Johnson narrowed his recruiting decision down to two schools back in June.

The top-rated defensive back in Indiana waited until Tuesday, his mother’s birthday, to announce whether Iowa or Notre Dame would be his No. 1.

North Central’s four-star cornerback ultimately committed to the Hawkeyes, immediately becoming their most coveted recruit in the 2018 class and giving his mom, LaShanda Santiago, a gift for the future.

“To my number one fan on her day, I would like to announce that I am accepting a full-ride scholarship to the University of Iowa!” Johnson posted to Twitter on Tuesday morning.

Johnson is a 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback and is a top-300 prospect nationally, according to 247 Sports. Both Scout and 247 rank him among four-star recruits, with late offers and interest boosting the stock of a defensive back who has already shown exceptional ball skills and explosion on the outside.

Johnson also held offers from Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois and a handful of mid-majors.

D.J. Johnson, North Central. Photographed Thursday, August 10, 2017 for the 2017 ALL-USA IndyStar preseason football Super Team.

Ohio State showed late interest, but Johnson followed Iowa’s effort led by recruiting coordinator Kelvin Bell. He joins fellow Indianapolis natives Tyrone Tracy (2018) and Larry Tracy (2019) on Iowa’s recruiting board.

Johnson credited Santiago, a single mother who raised him and an older sister, for his commitment announcement.

From the Indy Star:North Central's D.J. Johnson makes college choice

“I want to give something back to her since she’s done so much for me,” Johnson told Rivals reporter Blair Sanderson last month, “so giving her a full-ride scholarship on her birthday, that’s the biggest present I can give her.”

Notre Dame only counts one defensive back among its highly rated 2018 class. Iowa claimed Johnson in the head-to-head recruiting race, but also picked up tight end Anthony Torres last month, a 6-foot-6 prospect from South Bend suburb Mishakawa, Ind.

Johnson is currently Iowa’s 12th commit for 2018 and second cornerback. North Central went 1-9 last season, but started the season with a win last Friday. Johnson was also a preseason Super Team selection by the Indianapolis Star.