IOWA CITY – Section GG at Carver-Hawkeye Arena contained a familiar face to many Hawkeye fans Sunday night. Former Iowa wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, dismissed from the football team following his December arrest on drug charges, took in Iowa’s 62-45 loss to Minnesota.
When asked about the events in early December that led to his dismissal from the team, Johnson-Koulianos said, “I was just kind of in a situation I shouldn’t have been in, allowing the wrong people into my life.”
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions, initially was charged with unlawful possession of cocaine , marijuana and prescription drugs. Johnson-Koulianos pled guilty to a simple possession of marijuana charge in a January plea-bargain deal and received unsupervised probation for one year and a $315 fine. The charge will be removed from his record following completion of the probationary period.
His roommate in Iowa City, Brady Johnson, was charged with three misdemeanors, plus felony intent to deliver. Brady Johnson, who faces a possible 9 years in prison if convicted, has pleaded not guilty. The charge of keeping a drug house since has been dropped. Many have questioned why Johnson-Koulianos would reside with a suspected drug dealer.
“It was kind of a surprise to me just like everyone else,” he said. “I still don’t know until it’s proven.”
Preceding the arrest, Johnson-Koulianos’ rocky relationship with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was a constant during his career at Iowa. Johnson-Koulianos rarely was allowed to talk to the media, and he did not start Iowa’s regular-season finale, a 27-24 loss at Minnesota. When asked about that apparently strained relationship, Johnson-Koulianos agreed that it was rocky …“My entire career. He’s an old school coach, and it was me being me. I credit myself for our terrible relationship.”
Was his dismissal from the squad justified? “Yeah, yeah, allowing something like that to happen, you don’t deserve to wear the Hawkeye.”
Johnson-Koulianos is currently hard at work, training for a shot at professional football. “You never really know. I’m training my butt off, hoping to change the scout’s minds about my character. I’m hoping to be included in the pro day at Iowa, but if not, I’ll work out at a local high school.”
Johnson-Koulianos recently competed in the NFLPA All-Star Game in San Antonio where he caught five passes for 77 yards – and tweeted as soon as the game ended.
He was not invited to the NFL draft combine, which will be held February 23-March 1 in Indianapolis. The NFL player draft is April 28-30. Johnson-Koulianos is projected as a likely undrafted free agent.
- By Douglas Miles, The Gazette