The decision was not easy for Reggie Johnson. The first big time player out of Winston-Salem Prep (but not the last, teammate Marcus Wright will sign this year too) was torn. He had VCU and a coach with whom he developed a great closeness and Miami, coached by a man who grew up in his neck of the woods. Johnson had a hard time making calls Sunday night.
"He's on the phone in tears with VCU because he built such a relationship with those guys," Winston-Salem Prep coach Andre Gould said. "They came in and made a great push. It was tough."
On Sunday night, after returning from his visit, Johnson gave Frank Haith the good word. Haith, a Burlington, N.C., native, grew up down the road from where Johnson resides and that didn't hurt.
"It really did (help)," Johnson said. "He's from here, he just understands about Carolina boys period."
The 6-foot-8, 290 pounder worked his way into shape over the last two seasons and eventually the hard work translated into a spot on the Boo Williams AAU team and then into scholarship offers.
"The kid has worked his tail off to get to where he's at," Gould said. "His best years are definitely ahead of him. He's not afraid of work or getting better or being a gym rat. One day we're going to be reading about this kid right here."
Gould indicated the opportunity to challenge himself in the ACC was too much to turn down. "He wants the opportunity night in and night out to show people that he can be one of the elites. I think he's going to find that challenge in the ACC."
"I haven't reached nothing yet," Johnson said. "I'm going to continue to put in work to get better."
Johnson liked the criminal justice major at Miami. Maybe there's room for another deputy in town next to Shaq?