Isaiah Johnson-Mack is leaving the WSU program, he says, citing a desire to be closer to his family in Florida.

Share story

Washington State receiver Isaiah Johnson-Mack has decided to transfer, the receiver announced Thursday afternoon on Twitter.

“I would like to thank WSU for the opportunities they have given me, however, due to personal reasons, myself and my family have came (sic) to the conclusion that it would be better for me to finish the remainder of my collegiate career at a school closer to home,” Johnson-Mack wrote.

Johnson-Mack started every game at Z receiver for WSU this season as a sophomore, and finished the regular season as the Cougars’ third-leading receiver, with 60 receptions and 555 yards. Johnson-Mack also caught five touchdowns.

The 6-foot-3, 216-pound receiver from Belle Glade, Fla., has played in every game since he enrolled early as a freshman in the spring of 2016.

But he’s also, at times, been homesick. Johnson-Mack is the father of a toddler who will soon turn 2. His mother, Cammy Johnson, detailed Johnson-Mack’s struggles with homesickness earlier this fall, in an interview with The Seattle Times.

Johnson-Mack contemplated leaving WSU after his first season in Pullman, but decided to stay.

“He was in a bad spot, homesick. And he missed the baby,” Cammy Johnson said in an interview in September. “He was like, ‘I’m missing everything, mom. The baby is starting to crawl.'”

Cammy Johnson and Johnson-Mack’s mentor, Renoko Harmon, managed to convince Johnson-Mack to stay at WSU at the end of last season, but the homesickness likely once again contributed to the decision he made this week to leave WSU.

Phone messages left for Cammy Johnson and Harmon on Thursday afternoon were not immediately returned.

Johnson-Mack had a multitude of offers when he was making his college decision, and turned down overtures from Florida, Miami and Louisville to come to WSU.

If he decides to transfer to anther FBS school, Johnson-Mack will have to sit out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and will be eligible to play as a senior in 2019.

He finishes his WSU career having played 24 games, with 12 starts, 95 receptions, 801 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

It remains to be seen if Johnson-Mack will play in WSU’s bowl game. His impending transfer opens up more opportunities for sophomore Dezmon Patmon, who has blossomed in the last quarter of the season.

Patmon has backed up Johnson-Mack at Z receiver all year, and he has become one of WSU’s more productive receivers over the last four games. He had five receptions for 60 yards against UW in the Apple Cup, and also had five receptions for 42 yards in the win over Utah. Of his 341 receiving yards, 271 have come in the second half of this season, though, Patmon has yet to find the end zone.

Patmon’s development, coupled with the emergence of freshman receiver Tay Martin, should cushion the impact of Johnson-Mack’s departure.