More than playing at a Division I program, he's excited at the fact that Johnson is not done growing--physically, or academically.
"He's just became 18 years-old, the kid is still growing," Rodriguez said. "He's an extremely hard worker. I don't think failure is in his vocabulary. Whatever challenge is ahead of him, he comes from a solid work ethic. He'll be a fine addition for Pitt, a wonderful legacy."
Listed at 6-7 for the moment, Rodriguez had no problem putting Johnson in as his point guard. He feels his ability to run the floor, his shooting ability, and his length are all in line with what Jamie Dixon likes out of any recruit.
"He's not only a solid player, he has blossomed over the last year," Rodriguez said. "Everyone talks about his massive growth spurt! but we kept him at the point. He has some solid guard skills. He's an extremely hard worker. The kind of kid you have to kick out of the gym every night. He's improved since the season ended."
Aside from Pitt, Johnson had several other schools coming in to watch him workout.
"He had UMass-Lowell, Virginia, Richmond, they came and watched him work out," Rodriguez said. "He was generating high interest. He's very long defensively. Most of all the kid has high a basketball IQ there is. He's a solid student. He's a solid leader, an outstanding young man. think when he hits the weight room, Pitt may have a diamond in the rough."
Rodriguez adds that Jamie Dixon had been in contact for awhile. It may have happened quickly this week, with Johnson signing. The interest from Pitt had been coming for awhile.
"I don't know if it happened as quickly as people think," Rodriguez adds. "They had some guys with Jamie, having seen him. His growth has piqued a lot of people's interest. He did it in AAU. He's worked to a point to get himself in this position. I can see him working harder. Even after practice, he's still there 45 minutes to an hour, that's just the kind of kid he is."
Johnson also holds a 4.5 GPA.
Along with Hampton's Ryan Luther and former Beaver Falls standout Sheldon Jeter coming in this class, as well as 2016 standout Maverick Rowan, Rodriguez is impressed with how the Pittsburgh area is churning out Division I talent.
"Not even kids going to Pitt, but you have Micah Mason, Nolan Cressler," Rodriguez said. "it's not Philadelphia not New York City, but, we have some pretty high-quality kids. That says a lot about what's coming out of the area. It's causing people to take a second look at the area.
"We are extremity proud of him, not only proud of his accomplishments on the court. He was a team captain, he led by example, took on the challenge of tough assignments, on the court and off the court. The kid has it going for him. He's a hard worker."