Jaylen Johnson visit to U of L was 'awesome'

Ypsilanti, Mich., forward Jaylen Johnson committed to the University of Louisville basketball program earlier this month. But Johnson took his official visit to U of L this weekend and Cardinal Authority has the latest on the "awesome" trip.

Janetta Johnson didn't bring her son on an official visit to the University of Louisville this weekend to make any decisions.

Jaylen Johnson had already made that decision, committing to the Cardinals earlier this month. Johnson and his mother came to U of L to keep fostering the relationship with the coaches and watch his future teammates.

The Johnson's spent two days at U of L and left impressed.

"It showed me that he made the right decision," Janetta Johnson said. "I felt he did the minute he committed to coach (Rick) Pitino and this just reaffirmed that, after watching those guys practice for two days.

"I just thought it was awesome. It was very good to see just the type of program that my son will be a part of. We're very excited."

The 6-foot-9 Johnson is considered one of the top 50 prospects in the country and picked the Cardinals over Michigan State, Iowa State, Florida State and Oregon. He committed to U of L the day before Pitino was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Johnson had previously made an unofficial visit to U of L but had not taken any of his five official visits. Johnson's mom said this is the only one they'll need.

"We didn't go on the visit looking to make any sort of decisions, but it just made me feel like I did all along that it was the right place for my son," she said. "But we had cancelled all of the official visits, so we wanted him to go on this one.

"He took advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with the coaches and the players and watch them practice. Jaylen got a chance to see how hard the boys work, all of them work so hard. The whole time from start to finish. From a basketball standpoint, it was awesome to see how hard they work."

Johnson's mother, who played at Wisconsin and led the nation in blocked shots for one season, called Pitino "a Hall of Famer for a reason," and noted after watching him with his team that "it's easy to see why he's won two national titles."

"He's a specialist," she said. "He gets straight to the point, watching every player, seeing the little fundamental things they need to fix with every possession. The young men know what to expect of him and he expects them to listen.

"He was awesome and his coaches are awesome."

The mother also said after watching two days of practice she can see why the Cardinals are projected as a top team in the country. She noted the play of Chris Jones, Russ Smith, Akoy Agau, Chane Behanan and Mangok Mathiang as "standouts."

"They have a lot of talent, gosh," she said. "If they continue practicing like they did this weekend, Oh my goodness. They're going to be hard to beat.

"All of those young men on the team were working so hard. I was just so impressed with how hard they worked."

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