The Kansas Jayhawk secondary took a serious blow on Friday when Head Coach David Beaty announced that standout safety Isaiah Johnson will be transferring from the program.
“We would like to thank Isaiah for all of the contributions he made to our program during his time at Kansas,” said Beaty. “He has been a model citizen and teammate and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Johnson is from Cary, NC, but came to Lawrence as a JUCO transfer from Iowa Western Community College. His impact was immediate as he was honored as the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2013. In 2014 he continued wreaking havoc on offenses; racking up 148 tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, six picks, and a forced fumble.
“My time at KU has been a great experience,” Johnson said in a statement. “I have learned a lot from my coaches and have made friends I will keep for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, for personal reasons, I will play my last year somewhere else, but I will always be grateful to Coach Beaty and his staff for all that they have done for me and how much he has helped me during this time.”
Citing only ‘Personal reasons’ for leaving, Johnson is on track to graduate in May with a degree in sociology, and will be free to go to any Division I school without having to sit a year. There’s no word yet on where that may be though.
The Jayhawks don’t open spring practice until Tuesday, March 24th, but this probably isn’t the start David Beaty was hoping for in his first year at the helm. The loss of Johnson is somewhat of a double blow for the Jayhawks. Not only is it a significant loss of production, but secondary depth was already a concern after losing starting safety Cassius Sendish, and starting corners Dexter McDonald and JaCorey Shepherd from a season ago. For those playing along at home, Kansas is now looking at replacing four defensive back starters for the 2015 season.
– Cover Photo Credit: Isaiah Johnson – Troy Taormina – USA TODAY Sports