Johnson eager to become a Buff

California forward hopes to get even better before arriving in Boulder.

A year from now, Xavier Johnson figures to have enough University of Colorado gear to last him a while.

For now, however, the future Buff doesn't have any.

"I'm still waiting to purchase some," he said.

While he doesn't have any CU gear to show off, the small forward from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., does have one important item from CU – a scholarship.

Last month, Johnson, a four-star basketball recruit, gave his verbal commitment to the Buffaloes. He is expected to sign his letter of intent Wednesday.

"It was the basketball program, but also it was the whole community," he said of his commitment to the Buffs. "The fans and everything were just so excited for me to come to their school. I felt like I was a part of the family."

Johnson is part of what is shaping up to be a stellar recruiting class for CU and head coach Tad Boyle. Scout.com ranks Johnson as the 16th-best small forward in the country. The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder is a good defense and has excellent 3-point range. He's also a good free-throw shooter.

He chose CU over offers from LSU, San Diego State, UNLV and UTEP.

"I feel like I picked the college for me and it's just a great opportunity for me to go to Colorado," he said.

Johnson said he is inspired by watching former Buff Alec Burks grow from little-known prospect to NBA lottery pick in just a couple of years, and he's hoping to make similar progress in his game.

Johnson said that during his senior year at Mater Dei, he hopes to work on his ball-handling and shooting and he hopes "to show everybody that I'm a great player."

He's also hoping the fact that recruiting is out of the way will help is game.

"It's a lot of stress (off) and I just feel more comfortable," he said.


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