Just In: Vols Land Commitment from Elite In-State Guard Keon Johnson
Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers just landed a big-time piece of the puzzle in their 2020 recruiting class. In-state Combo Guard Keon Johnson made his college decision to stay at home and play for Tennessee. Vol Recruiting Reports takes a look at what put the Vols over the top in this one.
Johnson, the 27th overall prospect in the country, gives Tennessee their second pledge in this class. It also pushes the Volunteers up to No.5 on the 247 Sports Team Rankings. Johnson chose Tennessee over Virginia and Ohio State.
Tennessee has been in this recruitment heavily for months. In February, Johnson told Vol Recruiting Reports, “they have said that they have never had an in-state guy like me.” Johnson becomes the 6th highest-rated commitment in Tennessee basketball history, with Robert Hubbs being the only in-state prospect rated above him.
Johnson is an Auburn legacy, and the Tigers were in play for his services at one point. For Johnson, however, his idea has always been, “to find a program where I come in and make an immediate impact as a freshman.”
Rick Barnes has had a great track record of developing players during his tenure at Tennessee. He kept Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams, and Jordan Bone in the program for 3-4 years, eventually developing them all into NBA Draft Picks.
Johnson is a prospect that has the potential to be one and done, however, he said in February, “I am trying to get a lot more development. Say I do go one and done, I do not want to be unprepared for the league.”
Johnson is the reigning Division-II Mr. Basketball award winner in the state of Tennessee. In the 2018-19 season, he averaged 24. 6 points, 3.2 assists, 8.6 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game. He feels that his best asset is being a defender, which will mesh well in Rick Barne’s philosophy.
The 6’5, 180lbs star will play in a combo role guard for the Vols. He will finish out his high school career at The Webb School in Bell Buckle (TN).
Johnson is joined in this class by an elite small forward in Corey Walker of Bishop Snyder (FL). This will be the first time in Rick Barne’s Tenure at Tennessee that he has signed two top 50 prospects in the same class. To this point, he has never signed a pair of top 100 prospects.
With the addition of Johnson, the Volunteers chances of signing a top 5 class just increased drastically.
Matt Ray is the managing content editor for VR2. He founded VR2 in November of 2017. He is an FWAA Member and covers Tennessee prospects across the country from the Opening Regional Camp series to Under Armour All-American game and everything in between.