Keon Johnson Down to Two Schools in Recruitment

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    (Photo via Christina Merrion/Double Up Media)

    Top in-state player Keon Johnson is down to just two teams in his recruitment ahead of his announcement in a week and a half. Tennessee is one of those schools.

    Keon Johnson is the No. 1 player from the state of Tennessee according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The four-star prospect from Bell Buckle, TN is rated as the No. 31 overall player in the 2020 class. His recruitment is winding down, and now he’s narrowed his focus to just two schools in his recruitment.

    In an interview with HoopSeen TV, Johnson was asked about his recruitment heading into his August 6th announcement date. Previously, Johnson had a final three of Tennessee, Ohio State, and Virginia.

    Now, Virginia has been eliminated.

    According to Johnson, Virginia is no longer in the running for his commitment after the Cavaliers took the commitment of four-star small forward Jabri Abdur-Rahim. The four-star’s commitment on July 10th gave Virginia three commits in their 2020 class, and that fills up all their projected empty scholarship spots for their 2020-21 roster.

    That means Johnson’s recruitment is down to just Tennessee and Ohio State.

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    Why those two schools? According to Johnson, it’s because they’ve been loyal and up front with him throughout the entire recruiting process.

    “They were honest with me up front,” Johnson said. “They showed constant love through the whole process by showing up early to my school or coming in and seeing me here (at camps).”

    Johnson has been on Tennessee’s radar for years, and he’s been a frequent visitor to UT’s campus on unofficial visits. His official visit to UT was back in October of 2018, and he took an official visit to Ohio State this summer.

    But Johnson has been to see the Vols more than any other school. Aside from being the main in-state team, Johnson also really likes Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes.

    “Coach Barnes is a great coach,” Johnson stated. “He’s very hard on his guys, but he also loves his guys as well.”

    When asked if he feels any additional pressure to commit to the Vols because they’re the in-state school, he stated that he doesn’t feel that at all. His family and those involved in his recruitment have let him make up his own mind.

    “I really don’t,” Johnson said when asked if he feels any pressure to choose the Vols. “Distance doesn’t really play a factor in my recruitment. It’s basically up to me to make the decision.”

    Johnson, who measures in around 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, is a tremendous defender and has a knack for picking off passes and blocking shots. He uses his defense to fuel his offense, and he has a variety of ways he can score. Johnson can nail threes, hit pull-up jumpers, drive in the lane, and has some post moves as well. Johnson has a really impressive vertical and just seems to float higher and higher in the air as he skies for dunks. He’s more of a slasher to the basket, but his shooting has continued to improve. He’s a very well-rounded player with an extremely high ceiling.

    As a junior for The Webb School, Johnson averaged 24.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.0 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game according to MaxPreps. He shot 58.4 percent overall and 38.3 percent from three. In the Adidas Gauntlet back in April with his AAU team, EAB Tennessee, he averaged 21.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in seven games, shooting 49 percent overall according to Exposure Sports News.

    Johnson finished in the top three in overall scoring for the Adidas summer circuit. Along with his 21.1 points a game he averaged in April, Johnson averaged 23.8 points a game in five games in the Adidas Summer Championship according to his former head coach with EAB Tennessee, Mark Griffin.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.