PULLMAN – Two days after announcing his intention to transfer from Washington State, wide receiver Isaiah Johnson-Mack is claiming that Cougars coach Mike Leach has denied his release from the football program.
Johnson-Mack voiced his frustration with the process on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
“Coach Leach denied my release because, I want to transfer closer to home and be with my 2 y/o son and soon to be 1 y/o daughter,” Johnson-Mack tweeted. “Now I have to go through the appeal process. Yet he was visiting Tennessee the other day I don’t get this double standard.”
The receiver deleted his tweet less than an hour after sending it. Leach was on the road recruiting this week but returned to Pullman late Thursday night/early Friday morning. The Cougars are hosting a number of recruits on official visits this weekend, but Leach will be back on the road recruiting next week and plans to meet with Johnson to “resolve the issue” when he returns to Pullman on Friday, a school spokesperson said.
Leach reportedly met with Tennessee athletic director John Currie on Thursday in Los Angeles to discuss the coaching vacancy in Knoxville. Some outlets reported that Tennessee and Leach were close to reaching a deal, but UT suspended Currie the following day and promoted Phillip Fulmer to AD “for the foreseeable future.”
On Thursday, Johnson-Mack, a Belle Glade, Florida, native indicated that he was homesick and cited “personal reasons” for wanting transfer and “that it would be better for me to finish the remainder of my collegiate career at a school closer to home.”
Johnson-Mack was WSU’s full-time starter at “Z” receiver and finished the regular season with 60 catches for 555 yards and five touchdowns.
It isn’t clear whether Johnson-Mack planned to depart before the Cougars’ bowl game. WSU hasn’t released a bowl practice schedule yet, but the Cougars will hold a teleconference on Sunday when their postseason destination is announced.
If the 6-foot-3 sophomore doesn’t play in the bowl, WSU will likely turn to another long, rangy wideout – the 6-4 Dezmon Patmon – to fill the void at “Z” receiver. Patmon caught 31 passes for 341 yards this year, but hasn’t scored a touchdown this season.