The University of Kansas men’s basketball program landed its first oral commitment in the 2023 recruiting class on Tuesday evening, when four-star prospect Chris Johnson announced his plans to attend KU.
Ranked No. 33 overall in his class by the 247 Sports composite rankings, Johnson, of Montverde Academy in Florida, made his announcement in front of a group of friends, family members and supporters.
Flanked by his father and mother, Johnson went through a round of thank-yous and then started to make his announcement, saying, “It’s been hard, but…”
He then paused and told the crowd, “I’m nervous,” before finishing his statement and announcing that he was “planning to take my talents and further my education at the University of Kansas.”
After unzipping his black hoodie to unveil a blue KU T-Shirt, the KU fight song blared over the speakers and Johnson and his family made their way to a hidden table that featured a KU flag, photos of Johnson in a Kansas uniform from his official visit and an arch of red and blue balloons.
Officially listed as a 6-foot-5, 180-pound combo guard, Johnson, from Fort Bend, Texas, is known for his size, speed and scoring ability.
“He changes speeds, protects the ball at a high level going through the lane and can score the ball in numerous ways inside the arc,” wrote 247 Sports Director of Scouting Adam Finkelstein. “Overall, he is confident, physical and plays with an edge that can be either a competitive advantage or disadvantage depending on how it is impacting him.”
In his breakdown, 247 Sports recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins noted Johnson’s “excellent feel” for the game.
“He is known for his work ethic, but also just knows how to play on both ends with a good natural instinct for the game,” Jenkins wrote. “A gifted passer, Johnson has an excellent feel for the game and matching skills with great size. (He) projects as a great player and prospect that will be an immediate contributor at whatever program he chooses.”
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Travis Graf also highlighted Johnson's physical strength and noted that the newest Jayhawk still has work to do as a 3-point shooter.
"Chris Johnson has the measurables, athleticism and strength to compete for a key roster position the moment he steps foot on campus in Lawrence," Graf wrote. "The four-star guard is at his best with a head of steam heading towards the rim, where he uses explosion and strength to finish around or through defenders. His outside shot is a work in progress and is currently in the ‘streaky’ category, but he has tools to work with from that level."
Second-year assistant coach Jeremy Case was the lead recruiter for Johnson, who made an official visit to KU last week and ended his recruitment shortly thereafter.
“I chose Kansas because everyone always says pick some-where that wants you,” Johnson told On3.com’s Joe Tipton. “They’ve been recruiting me hard from the beginning of the high school season. (KU) has been one of my dream schools my whole life, and now that I’m committed there, it’s just a blessing.”