In late September, 3-star guard Xavier Johnson announced that he was committed to Nebraska for the 2018-19 college basketball season. However, almost seven months after that announcement, Johnson has reportedly de-committed from the program.
According to a report by Prep Circuit’s Pat Lawless on Friday night, the senior guard decided to de-commit from Nebraska after assistant coach Kenya Hunter left the program to join UConn’s coaching staff. The report also notes that Johnson has been granted his release from his national letter of intent.
— Pat Lawless (@PatLawless_) April 13, 2018
“I decided to open things up to help me take a step backwards to re-evaluate things again due to a coaching change with coach Kenya Hunter,” Johnson told Prep Circuit. “Coach Hunter was the person who recruited me and we developed a big bond together that my parents trusted. I feel like I could go to him anytime in Nebraska when my parents wouldn’t be there.”
Johnson also noted in the report that he would still consider Nebraska when he reopens his recruitment.
According to another report by the Omaha-World Herald’s Lee Barfknecht, Johnson met with Nebraska coach Tim Miles on Thursday. While Barfknecht’s tweet states that Johnson has not been granted a release from his national letter of intent, it does note that Miles would be willing to grant it.
— Lee Barfknecht (@leebeeowh) April 13, 2018
Hunter’s move to UConn was officially announced on Monday. In the wake of Hunter’s exit from the program, Miles — who is in talks with Nebraska about a contract extension — is still searching for the right person to fill the coaching vacancy, according to Barfknecht.
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Johnson is rated a 3-star prospect by 247Sports. The guard from Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., is the No. 9-ranked player in the state, and is the No. 16-ranked “combo guard” in his recruiting class, according to 247Sports. Nationally, he is ranked the No. 235 overall player in his class.