Sun Devils pursuing Michigan forward

Many of the offers for Ypsilanti (Mich.) standout, Jaylen Johnson, are coming from schools closer to his neck of the woods, but venturing westward is an option the forward is seriously considering. Johnson has been targeted early by Arizona State and according to his coach, Steve Brooks, his player is showing serious interest in the Sun Devils who have already offered him a scholarship.

"Jaylen is a player who right now has a lot of upside," Brooks said of the 6-8 200 lbs. Jaylen Johnson. "He's young, just 16 years old. He's someone that can play a lot of different positions and does that for our high school. One thing I really think he needs to do is be more selfish.

"He can finish around the basket, and has a real quick jumper, but not really a three-point shooter. He needs to face up more in the post and attack the basket because right now he passes a lot of the time. He's quick enough to go by a lot of guys, especially those taller than him. Sometimes he just needs to just go up and dunk on somebody, like I said he needs to be more selfish."

Brooks added that he feels the forward should get stronger and could easily carry an additional 30, 40 pounds.

"Just like any player that's just 16 years old, he probably needs the weight room," Brooks commented. "But he's a hard worker and has time to mature."

Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa State, Maryland, and Oregon are among the schools who have offered Johnson to date.

"Arizona State is right up there with everyone else," Brooks stated. "He would like to leave the state and isn't a homesick kid. He really likes Coach (Stan) Johnson there and is looking forward to seeing everything there. He loves the sunshine and he wants warm weather. Being an older coach, I want him to go out there and visit any school he's interested in and not just believe what other people tell him. He needs to find out stuff for himself.

"Right now he's not worried about recruiting and he's just playing. He said ‘Coach, I'm going to let you worry about that (recruiting).' And I want him to be like that and enjoy playing. We're going to narrow down the list after the summer."

Johnson averaged 13.8 ppg and 12.8 rpg for the Phoenix who went 20-5 last season and lost in the state's Class A quarterfinals.

Fox Sports Next's Recruiting Analyst, Brian Snow, observed Johnson playing for AAU Club Dorian's Pride last month, and offered this analysis of the ASU prospect. "Just a long and athletic dude who tries to dunk everything, Johnson is a beast on the interior," Snow said. "He isn't a super skilled kid, but his athleticism is top notch and he attacks the rim with bad intentions. Rebounding wise he is very good and does it on both ends of the floor. Johnson has to get stronger and continue to develop a refined post game, but he has a lot of natural ability and is someone who is a threat to get a double-double every time on the floor."

Brooks said that he and Johnson will sit down after the upcoming July tournament circuit to narrow down his list of suitors and decide on which schools to visit.

"I think a lot more schools will start looking at him in the summer," Brooks noted. "But I think he will first look at the schools that have been showing interest from the beginning. We talk a lot about loyalty and really looking at the schools that looked at you initially.

"I think he will (officially) visit some schools first before making a decision and Arizona State will be one of them. Iowa State and Florida State are other schools he will visit."


Sun Devil Source Top Stories