Dakari Johnson to Kentucky: Wildcats Add 5-Star Center to 2013 Class

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIJanuary 5, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247 Sports
Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Kentucky will have an elite low-post presence next season, as it has beat out stiff competition to sign 5-star recruit Dakari Johnson.

Lexington Herald-Leader reporter John Clay had the news:

Dakari Johnson picks Kentucky.

— John Clay (@johnclayiv) January 6, 2013

Kentucky, Syracuse and Georgetown were on Johnson’s short list, according to Daniel Martin of NBC Sports, but the Wildcats apparently gave the most compelling pitch.

The 6’10”, 250-pound center is viewed as one of the top prospects in the nation. 247 Sports ranks him as the No. 13 player in the country and the top center in the entire 2013 class.

Johnson plays for Montverde Academy in Florida and has helped the team earn the No. 2 spot in USA Todays national rankings.

He is viewed as an elite offensive prospect due to his size and scoring ability around the rim. Though he is not an explosive shot-blocker in the mold of Anthony Davis, he runs the floor extremely well and is active on the low block.

Johnson is a massive boost to Kentucky’s class because he was not initially thought to be available this season. As ESPN’s Dave Telep reported in November, Johnson opted to leave high school a year early in order to be eligible to make the leap to the college game in 2013.

Telep sees Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum as a useful comparison to Johnson’s potential due to his agility and touch around the basket. 

Johnson is an extremely exciting prospect who has the potential to be the Wildcats' top scoring option next season. He will face high expectations during the remainder of his time in high school and at the start of his collegiate career after Saturday night’s big decision.