It's no secret that the University of Arkansas didn't have a wealth of true big guys last season.
But it appears they might next year.
Indian Hills (IA) CC center Delvon Johnson (6-9, 220) said Monday morning that he has signed with the Razorbacks after committing to them over Ole Miss and TCU on Sunday night.
"My visit was great and I just called (Arkansas head) Coach (John) Pelphrey to let him know I was coming," Johnson said.
"...The team seems real cool and the facilities are great," Johnson added. "I also really like Coach Pelphrey and all the coaching staff. From a basketball standpoint, I can see myself fitting right in."
He is the sixth Arkansas signee in the 2009 class and will join fall signees Anthony Borden (7-0, 230) and Marshawn Powell (6-8, 250) in helping the Razorbacks to add some beef to its front line.
The need for someone his size helped Johnson's decision.
"That's big," Johnson said. "If Michael Washington does come back, I can play both the 4 and the 5. If he doesn't come back, then I would play mostly the 5."
"All the coaches are real cool," Johnson said. "They were all players once and understand where I am coming from."
Johnson visited Arkansas this weekend along with small forward Marcus Relphorde (6-7, 225), his current teammate and a fellow Chicago native.
"I'm going to work on him to make sure he comes to Arkansas, too," Johnson said.
He also played his high school basketball with Arkansas fall signee Jemal Farmer (6-5, 215) at Bloom Township.
"He is a cool guy," Johnson said of Farmer. "He's very athletic and works hard. He is in the gym a lot. Actually we both signed to the same junior college, but I decided to go D-1 instead."
If Relphorde joins them at Arkansas, Johnson says the Razorbacks will be picking up a couple of very versatile players.
"Marcus is a nice player," Johnson said. "He is big, can shoot the 3, can dribble like a guard and post up defenders. He is very versatile."
"Jemal is versatile, too," Johnson said. "He is big, not as big as Marcus, but still big."
Johnson averaged 7 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks this past season for a 30-3 squad.
"I felt we had a very good team and any night somebody on our team could have had 20 points, but we all sacrificed for the team to help each other win," Johnson said. The talent level was great so even practice made you better," Johnson said. "You got better every day."
He has a defensive mindset.
"I love defense," Johnson said. "I love to block shots and rebound and do whatever I can to help my team win. Offensively I do a good job at reversing the ball, can take a couple of dribbles to get the ball where it needs to be and I've got post moves. I think I have a good offensive package, but I love defense."
He signed with Western Illinois out of high school and spent a year there before transferring to Indian Hills.
"It was a tough situation at Western Illinois," Johnson said. "It was a rebuilding deal with seven new players. It was hard on me because the coach didn't trust me to play so I barely played and sit on the bench almost the whole year until like the last two games when I got to play a lot."
He started every game this season for the Warriors.
"Playing time wasn't a problem this year," Johnson said. "I came in and I worked hard earned my spot."
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