Four-star tight end Theo Johnson likes Iowa's different style of recruiting

Photo courtesy of Theo Johnson Twitter page.

By Tyler Devine

IOWA CITY, Iowa – It’s a long trip from Ontario to Iowa City, but 2020 tight end Theo Johnson made the trek recently for his first unofficial visit to Iowa.

Johnson, a native of Windsor, Ontario, said he enjoyed the different way in which Iowa goes about recruiting.

“I think what stood out the most was how different Iowa does thing compared to how other schools do that have been recruiting me,” Johnson said. “Their approach to recruiting is kind of different. They’re kind of like ‘we’re going to give you the information and let you make the decision. If you want to be here great, but if you don’t think it’s the right fit for you then, hopefully, you’ll find the right fit somewhere else’. Iowa’s whole staff is on pace with their style.”

Despite the distance from home, Johnson, who is rated four stars according to, said that he’s more focused on finding the right program than how far he’ll have to travel.

“For me, it’s just if it’s the right fit I’ll be able to figure out getting home and stuff like that,” Johnson said. “The biggest thing for me is just being accountable for my future and if that’s eight hours away from home then so be it.”

Johnson also got a good picture of what his future could look like as a Hawkeye when he met former Iowa tight end and 2018 John Mackey Award winner T.J. Hockenson.

Hockenson came to Iowa very lightly recruited and within three years blossomed into a projected first round pick in the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Johnson is excited about the possibilities with regard to Iowa’s developmental style.

“He’s a great tight end,” Johnson said. “He is super good at blocking, a threat in the passing game. I feel like that’s something that NFL teams really love. I think just talking to him, and he would tell me when he first went there that he hadn’t blocked before, (he was a) two-star recruit. He told me they made him who he is.

“For me, kind of already being more physically developed than a lot of guys, it kind of makes me think what could they do with someone that is already developed in certain ways.”

Johnson also has offers from Arkansas, Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Georgia, Kent State, Louisiana State, Miami (FL), Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina State, Old Dominion, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Toledo and West Virginia.

Iowa currently has eight players committed to its 2020 recruiting class

Iowa’s 2020 recruiting class

Gavin Williams, RB, 6-0, 195, West Des Moines, Iowa

Deuce Hogan, QB, 6-4, 191, Grapevine, Texas

Michael Lois, DE, 6-4, 260, Elkhorn, Wisc.

Isaiah Bruce, DE, 6-2, 247, Lena, Ill.

Logan Jones, DE, 6-3, 252, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Ethan Burkett, LB, 6-3, 230, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Josh Volk, OL, 6-4, 306, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Tyler Elsbury, 6-5, 298, Byron, Ill.