In just a few days, we’ll learn the decision of what may be the top remaining target on the big board for head coach Chris Beard and his staff in the 2023 Texas basketball recruiting class. On November 21, Southern California Academy’s elite five-star combo guard AJ Johnson will announce his decision.
And it looks like Beard and the Longhorns are taking a great spot among the top schools in Johnson’s recruiting right now. In fact, Texas seems to be able to set the pace on this recruitment, as that baton really blew the park with Johnson during his Sept. 3 official visit to Austin.
Beard and assistant coach Rodney Terry have done a great job with this recruitment as we near decision day for Johnson. Texas has consistently approached Johnson on a number of fronts, including letting him know about the immediate impact he could have on that team and showcasing the NBA talent that has rolled through the Forty Acres in the past.
Johnson has spoken out multiple times about how superstar NBA forward Kevin Durant was a stud for the Longhorns back then. Texas also did a good job when Johnson was brought onto campus a few months ago with the person he calls his “big brother,” sophomore Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green.
Texas basketball in a favorable place with 5-star CG AJ Johnson just days before his commitment date
All in all, it sounds like Texas has some reasons to be confident a few days before Johnson’s signing date. There’s even an On3 national recruiting analyst, Inside Texas’ Gerry Hamilton, who appears to have confidence in the Longhorns’ positioning in the race for a Johnson signing for the weekend.
According to a Nov. 18 report by On3/IT’s Hamilton (Paid Content), they “feel really good about the Longhorns’ chances ahead of Johnson’s signing date.”
Some of the other top schools competing with Texas in the race to sign Johnson include the LSU Tigers, NC State Wolfpack and Louisville Cardinals. He has officially attended each of the four schools mentioned in this article over the past few months.
But it looks like Texas’ biggest competition here will come from LSU. The Tigers made quite an impression on Johnson after offering him in early August.
Granted, LSU probably got into that recruiting too late to gain the necessary ground to beat Texas to land Johnson when he announces Nov. 21.
Texas currently has a pledge of one recruit in the 2023 class. The only commitment in the Longhorns 2023 class is Duncanville’s elite five-star forward Ron Holland, who Texas made his pledge and signed earlier this month.