Former Georgia Tech safety Isaiah Johnson wasn’t invited to a pre-draft all-star game. He wasn’t among the more than 300 prospects brought to the NFL draft combine.
He did receive, though, a call that is arguably far more meaningful than either of those – Johnson was scheduled to visit the headquarters of the Houston Texans on Friday. Either the Texans – whose coach, Bill O’Brien, used to coach at Tech and is close friends with defensive coordinator Ted Roof – are genuinely interested in Johnson or are going to great lengths to throw competitors off their scent.
Teams are permitted to bring in only 30 prospects to their offices, typically for a physical and interviews. Johnson expected team doctors to take a long look at his surgically repaired ACL, which he tore in Dec. 2012.
“To get this visit, I’ll take this visit over any bowl game or combine,” Johnson said. “It means a lot.”
Houston is among several teams who have shown interest in Johnson since his impressive pro-day performance in March. The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots are among other teams who have been in touch with Johnson or his Atlanta-based agent Lance Courtney.
“I’m excited,” Johnson said Thursday. “Just being able to visit a team, knowing that I mean so much to them or have so much interest that they’re going to fly me out and give me a tour of what’s going on, it’s a good feeling.”
Roof has put in a good word with O’Brien.
“I think he’d bring a lot to the table,” Roof said. “They’re very interested, as a lot of teams are. We just have to wait and see. I’m proud of him and I want to help in any way I can. But Isaiah helps himself, too, when he sits down and meets with people and they put on his tape. I’m excited to see where he’s going to end up.”
The countdown is on to the draft, which takes place April 30-May 2. He continues to work out at Tech, at Sandy Creek High and with trainer Glenn Ford of i-DareU.
“Just waiting for my moment,” Johnson said. “My moment will come.”