South Carolina Gamecocks Safety Isaiah Johnson “…this defense definitely fits my strengths best.”


After announcing his decision to transfer from the Kansas Jayhawks, the former BIG 12 newcomer of the year was heavily recruited by South Carolina. After being here, there, and everywhere Johnson made up his decision to suit up for the Gamecocks, for his last stop in his college career.

Had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to the new commit, and here’s what he had to say.

You went from high school to Western Carolina in 2011 and sat out that season with a medical redshirt, then transferred to Iowa Western and helped lead the team to the national championship, then after that, you transferred to Kansas in which you played two seasons, aren’t you tired of moving around?

IJ-“Honestly, I’m not. I enjoyed my stay at every place I played at. I am very thankful for the opportunity given to me at each of those places. I’ve grew a lot as a man and as my journey progressed I got to spend a lot of time with great coaches that know the game. I feel South Carolina giving me the opportunity was a blessing from God. I felt like my extensive journey has been in Gods plan and he told me South Carolina was the best choice for me. To get back to your question, like I said earlier I’m definitely not tired.”

South Carolina is definitely excited to have you now, do you feel like you can go ahead and jump right in, or do you think you’ll have to wait?

IJ-“Honesty I’m hoping I’m able to come in and learn the defense as fast as I can. I’m looking to come in and be the best leader for the guys to look up to. Through my recruiting process talking to john hoke we spoke about myself having an opportunity to come in and do what I have to do. So I’m looking forward for that opportunity and challenge to compete with the other safeties. I know I’m not going to be handed the spot, so I’m going to come in the same way I always do and that’s mentally and physically prepared to play and learn.”

What do you think of South Carolina’s defensive schemes? How much of a difference is it compared to the other defensive schemes you’ve been apart of?

IJ-“I honestly fell In love with coach Hoke brought into this program. He told me he was going to simplify things and let the players play to their best ability. This defense is very similar to what we did at my junior college Iowa western. I’m looking forward to it and I feel like this defense definitely fits my strengths best.”

So, what are your strengths?

IJ-“I feel like I am a fast instinctive type of safety that can read quarterbacks real well. I feel like I have the ability to cover and get my hands on the ball. I would say my ball skills are my best asset.”

You were also considering Louisville during your transfer process, Was it truly the visit to South Carolina that made your decision, or was your mind made up before hand?

IJ-“I feel like it was the coaching staff, the proximaty, and the opportunity to play in the SEC is what made me make my decision. Everyone says the SEC is the best so I was like ‘I want to play with the best of the best as well.”

Are you ready for SEC football?

IJ-“Haha, yea I am. I’m ready to come in and compete, help South Carolina win as many games as possible and see where it all stands after that.”

What do you think of the fans so far? You know they’re crazy about their Gamecocks, right?

IJ-“I love them. They’ve shown me a ton of love and I know Gamecock nation is geared up for this season. Now I have to show my part”

Coming from a school where basketball is everything, how does it feel to be in a place where football is everything?

IJ-“It feels great. I know it’s football heaven in the SEC. So I’m excited to play in that conference.”

What do you want to do after college?

IJ-“After college I’m hoping I have a long career in the NFL. Hopefully after that I can get into something regarding sports like coaching or analysis jobs, and hopefully finish my masters degree.”

Who would you like to play for in the NFL?

IJ-“Doesn’t matter”

And lastly, will you feel the pain of losing to Clemson, or no?

IJ-“Of course, I knew how much this rival meant before I even thought about South Carolina, but I don’t plan on losing to them.”