After suffering the defections of 2024 signees Ron Holland and AJ Johnson to the professional ranks, new Texas Longhorns head coach Rodney Terry and his staff landed former Kansas Jayhawks guard signee Chris Johnson on Monday over the Arkansas Razorbacks and Washington Huskies.
The school officially announced to addition of Johnson on Monday afternoon.
A 6’4, 180-pounder who played at Fort Bend Elkins before transferring to Montverde Academy in Florida for his senior season, Johnson originally committed to Kansas last August, just day after taking an official visit to Lawrence, then signed with the Jayhawks in November.
“Chris is a very good high school player out of Houston who transferred his senior year to be at Montverde,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said when Johnson signed. In the short amount of time he’s been there, we understand his game has just grown tremendously. He was MVP of the big preseason tournament out in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago with many of the top high school prospects in America participating. He’s also a guy that can play point guard. He’s 6’4” and much like Elmarko, very versatile, can score, get his own shot but at the same time be a distributor. The thing that people rave about with him is that he could be an elite defender, an elite collegiate defender. Coach (Jeremy) Case did a great job recruiting Chris and his family and he and Elmarko and Jamari will all complement each other so well because they’re all similar but they’re so different because of their versatility.”
But earlier this month, Johnson requested and received his release from the National Letter of Intent he signed with Kansas, narrowing his options to Arkansas, Texas, and Washington before picking the Horns, thanks in part to the ability to return to his home state.
“I wanted to be closer to my family,” Johnson told On3. “I’ve always wanted to play for Texas basketball and wanted to start my legacy with ‘Texas’ on the front of my jersey.”
Johnson is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 53 player nationally and the No. 11 combo guard, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Johnson is a big guard with size and strength alike. 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. He needs to keep progressing as a three-point threat with both inconsistent mechanics and a bit of a hard ball. Defensively, he has tools that should eventually be able to translate at a high level, although he has yet to make that end of the floor a consistent priority. 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.
As the only member of the 2024 high school recruiting class for the Longhorns, Johnson projects into a role similar the one held by Arterio Morris last year — an energy player off the bench who can make an impact on both ends of the floor with the development of his ability to stretch the court a key factor into how large of a role Johnson plays as a freshman.