The Texas Longhorns will have a big opportunity this weekend to add a potential instant-impact player to next season’s linebacker corps, as Fullerton College product Caleb Johnson decommitted from the Iowa State Cyclones on Tuesday evening:
I’ve decided to decommit from Iowa State University. I’d like to thank Coach Houston, Coach Veidt, and Coach Campbell for everything they have done for me. I will be reopening my recruitment.— Caleb Johnson (@CalebJohnsun) October 10, 2018
The 6’1, 215-pounder originally committed to Iowa State in July, but has kept his options open — he plans on taking an official visit to Arkansas later this month and will take an official visit to Texas this weekend, according to multiple reports.
Texas offered Johnson back in August and still has a need for a junior college player with experience despite three pledges at the position in the 2019 class since both starters will graduate after this season.
So the timing of Johnson’s decision, multiplied by the clear need at the position, would seem to represent extremely good news for coordinator Todd Orlando and the Longhorns.
There’s some definite competition from programs like Arkansas and Ole Miss, which recently offered, but Texas can now offer a better track record of recent success than those programs, in addition to opportunity.
After posting 41 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery last season, Johnson has drawn some positive comparisons to another Johnson who played junior college football — Texas senior linebacker Gary Johnson.
And while Caleb Johnson doesn’t have the elite speed of Gary Johnson, there are some definite similarities in terms of size and skill set.
A consensus three-star prospect, Johnson is ranked as the No. 45 junior college prospect, the No. 3 outside linebacker at that level, and the No. 6 player in California, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.