Heels no longer recruiting Johnson

Brian Johnson's recruitment has been a saga that began with excitement for UNC fans two years ago and then became confusing this summer. It appears now that Johnson and the Tar Heels have parted ways.

Brian Johnson, our No. 28 senior, has it down to five schools, according to a source. In fact, Notre Dame (Sept. 9), Louisville (Sept. 10), Cincinnati (Sept. 10), Georgia Tech (Sept. 11) and Arizona will conduct in-home visits with him this month.

Obviously missing from this list is North Carolina, the acknowledged long-time leader. So, what happened? Here's what we know.

In the beginning of July, UNC was hot on his trail. When reports that the Tar Heels had been wavering on whether or not to offer a scholarship had surfaced, another source made it clear to TheInsidersHoops.com that UNC was most definitely poised to offer.

Roy Williams and his staff followed Johnson the remainder of the month. Johnson did not close the AAU Nationals very strong and that was his last appearance in the open period. From that point on, the relationship between he and UNC seemed to be in constant limbo.

A similar situation arose with J.R. Smith. Some wondered what UNC's commitment level to him was. Well, the Heels wasted little time in clearing that up and shortly thereafter, Smith picked UNC.

Again, our source feels that sometime in late August, a phone call occurred with Johnson and the UNC staff. Speculation is at that point that UNC basically pulled out of the running. However, the possibility still exists that it could have been by mutual decision.

Regardless, with the Tar Heels out of the picture, the five schools remain. Notre Dame, Louisville and Arizona are rumored to be the strongest with him at this juncture. In-school visits should determine his official visit slate.

To recap, he's down to Notre Dame, Louisville, Arizona, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati. North Carolina is no longer a factor.

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