THE LIST: Class of 2014 RIvals150
In June, Louisville's Rick Pitino and staff hosted four-star forward Jaylen Johnson on an unofficial visit. Ever since then they have prioritized him, and the work paid off on Friday as the Cardinals continue to load up on talent.
Before he started his school day, the 6-foot-8 senior at Ypsilanti (Mich.) High who ranks No. 56 in the Rivals150 committed to Pitino and the Cardinals.
Johnson's mother, Janetta, discussed her son's decision, and it is clear that good vibes had been building for a while.
"We did and unofficial back in June and had been considering Louisville since then," Ms. Johnson told Rivals.com. "They offered then and we had been considering them. They are coached by the great and knowledgeable Rick Pitino and he wanted to go play for a great teacher."
Johnson also noted the work done by assistant coach Kevin Keatts as being very important in winning over her son. Also, a conversation with one of her coaches from her playing days at Wisconsin was revealing.
"One of my coaches from Wisconsin told me don't you know that the stuff I taught you at Wisconisn is stuff I read in a book from Pitino," said Johnson. "I told Jaylen that it is one thing to learn from a book but another to learn directly from the person that wrote it and set the foundation."
Also attractive in the recruiting process was the defending national champion's playing style. The Cardinals allow their players some freedom and it is a system designed to put versatile players in spots to make plays.
"Jaylen is not a traditional back to the basket player," said Johnson. "He's a combo. He can dribble, he can pass and he can defend on the perimeter. He is very versatile.
"Jaylen loves defense."
With an official visit scheduled for two weekends from now, Johnson said that her son had decided it was time to end things. Something that she wasn't opposed to, especially because Jaylen is excited about his decision.
"The recruiting process had gotten really ugly and I just wanted my son to make a decision," said Johnson. "He wanted to go on his own time and he got to where he was ready and was like this is where I want to go.
"I wanted him to be hapy with his decision and he is. He said I'm going to the L. I'm a Louisville Cardinal now. I'm excited, he's excited."
Johnson is the third highly ranked player to commit to Louisville in the class of 2014. He joins five-star JaQuan Lyle and the No. 27 player in the country, Shaqquan Aaron, to make up a strong group.
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