COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Big 12 raid on Iowa Western’s national championship team continued Wednesday.
Safety Isaiah Johnson and defensive end Rodney Coe signed with Kansas and Iowa State, respectively, bringing the number of 2012 Reivers headed to the conference to seven.
Quarterback Jake Waters, defensive end Devon Nash and safety Travis Green left for Kansas State after the first semester. Offensive lineman Mike Smithburg is already at Kansas. And running back Aaron Wimberly joined Iowa State in December.
All seven were starters for Iowa Western’s title team. In all, 16 Reivers, including two walk-ons, landed at NCAA FBS programs.
“Obviously, we knew they were great players,” Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier said. “Now that you see where they end up and the impacts that we think they’ll be able to have at those schools, it makes it a little more special.”
As a freshman in 2011, Coe was Wimberly’s backup at running back, rushing for 470 yards and nine touchdowns. The 6-foot-3 275-pounder switched to defense prior to the 2012 season. He finished with 42 total tackles, including nine for losses.
Coe originally signed with Iowa out of Edwardsville (Ill.) High School, but he landed at Iowa Western after failing to qualify academically.
Coe made a sparkling debut on defense, recording sacks on three consecutive plays in a preseason scrimmage against nationally-ranked Hutchinson (Kan.).
Johnson was a first-teamer and an honorable mention All-American. The sophomore set a Reiver record with eight interceptions.
The wide receiver out of Cary, N.C., played at FCS Western Carolina during his freshman season before coming to Council Bluffs in August in hopes of landing at an FBS school.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said. “I’ve been looking to sign with a D-I program since I got out of high school. I finally got my opportunity so I’m just blessed.”
Johnson and Coe each said they’re looking forward to the Reiver reunions in the Big 12.
Also Wednesday, second-team All-America linebacker Terrell Porter signed with Division II Ferris State (Mich.). There, the MFC defensive player of the year from Detroit will rejoin his former coach from Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College, Tony Annese.
Receiver and return specialist Devin Thomas of Council Bluffs joined the program at national NAIA runner-up Morningside. The Abraham Lincoln graduate will follow in the footsteps of his father, Darrell, who was a all-conference linebacker with the Mustangs when they were a Division II school.