football

Nations third-ranked player makes his pick

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THE LIST: Class of 2014 Rivals150
For most of his recruitment, Stanley Johnson had maintained that he would wait until the spring of 2014 to decide. Instead, the No. 3 player in the country shifted gears and announced on Friday.
During a televised announcement, the 6-foot-7 small forward from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei made official his commitment to play for Sean Miller and Arizona in college.
While the Wildcats were the heavy favorites through much of Johnson's recruitment and had a lot going in their favor, Johnson made it clear that they had to work for his services.
"I'm going to Arizona," Johnson told Rivals.com. "I think saying that I was always going there kind of devalues the work that Coach Miller, Coach Book, Coach Pasternack and everybody put into it.
"They worked for it. They recruited me first and I've been around people who know Arizona so that didn't hurt. But then Kentucky got in the loop and USC got in the loop and Oregon got int eh loop and they went through things and never wavered. They have lots of players at my position too. But, I think to play at the highest level I have to challenge myself."
Johnson also liked that Arizona was close to home and gives his family a chance to keep close tabs on him during his career.
"It's also close to home," said Johnson. "My parents can come see me play in college and that was in the positive category to help put them over top."
While some players are looking for guaranteed playing time and a place where they are sure to get shots, Johnson wasn't looking for that. He's a competitor and wanted to be challenged.
"I think to play at the highest level I have to challenge myself," said Johnson. "I'm going into a situation I'm going to be challenged from day one.
"I think as a player It can't be easy if you want to make it. That's not how it's going to be on the next level so I don't want it to be that way in college."
Now that Johnson is in the fold, the Wildcats have another outstanding class. He's joined by high end four-star forward Craig Victor, four-star point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright and four-star junior college guard Kadeem Allen.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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