Johnson Caps Cool Class

Anthony Johnson, a 6-foot-8 senior forward at Lake Wales High (Fla.) who has only been playing ball for three years, could be Ed Cooley's next hidden gem. The new Fairfield head coach went out and got Johnson and a trio of other signees.

It didn't take long for Ed Cooley and his new staff to get things done.

Less than a month after leaving Boston College for the head coaching job at Fairfield, Cooley has received signatures from four players – including a trio that will help bolster a thin frontcourt.

The prize of the class just may end up being 6-foot-8 senior Anthony Johnson of Lake Wales High (Fla.). Johnson is strong and athletic and nearly averaged a double-double last season.

``It's a great opportunity," Johnson said. "I learned a lot about how Coach Cooley helped develop big men at Boston College and that's important to me."

``I got along with all the coaches and I loved the campus," he added. "The staff didn't pressure me at all."

Johnson, who has only been playing basketball for three years, also considered offers from VCU, Ohio, Southeast Missouri and Old Dominion.

Cooley, who brought on Toledo associate coach Bob Simon and Wake Forest assistant Tim Fuller to his staff, will also bring in 6-foot-7, 205-pound Richard Fleming, 6-foot-3 ½ guard Devin Johnson and 6-foot-7 small forward Roy Bookbinder.

Fleming, who averaged 13 points and 10 boards last season, had committed to George Mason at one point before re-opening his recruitment and choosing the Stags over Delaware. Johnson is an athletic combo guard who also considered Colorado State and VCU and was the Richmond Metro Player of the Year while Bookbinder hails from Israel and is a big-time athlete.

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