With 6-foot-10 center Jonathan Nwankwo committing on Friday night, Minnesota has one scholarship for the 2015 class remaining.
One of their top targets? Local guard Jarvis Johnson. The 6-foot-1 DeLaSalle senior took an official visit to the university in his backyard this past weekend, along with Nwankwo, who committed the night he arrived.
Johnson, a three-star recruit according to rivals.com who has been on campus unofficially many times previously, has four more official visits set up right now: Wisconsin on Sept. 19, then Wichita State (Oct. 3), UNLV (Oct. 10) and Baylor (Oct. 17). Minnesota coach also visited him at DeLaSalle on Friday morning.
I caught up with him to see how his latest trip to Minnesota went.
I imagine this trip was pretty different from previous visits for you. What did you do over the weekend?
Friday, I ate breakfast with coach Ben Johnson. Later in the day, I got to go to a class with Zach Lofton and got to see how that was. Then, I went to dinner with my family [his mom, dad and brother came along for the trip] and coach Pitino. We went to the football game on Saturday, football was most of the day, and then we went to go eat dinner at coach's house, which was fun. I got to chat with the players a little bit.
Did you feel like you got to know those guys a little bit?
I believe a little bit. I already knew Zach a little bit more than all the other guys. So I guess I did.
What about Nate Mason? Obviously you'd be playing a lot with him in the backcourt if you chose Minnesota.
Me and Nate did connect a little bit. We chatted just today. He was just seeing how things were going. While I was on the visit, him and Zach are roommates so while he was there, we got to chat a little bit about AAU, playing against him (and his CP3 team) last year.
How well did you know Zach before he came here?
His high school team beat my high school team when I was an eighth grader. I kind of knew him before that. We actually were in the same AAU program when we were younger.
Do you consider him good friend?
Yep, he is. My dad grew up with his dad.
Does that influence you at all towards Minnesota?
Not really. Zach just made it more comfortable. He just showed me around a little bit. But I don't think it had too much of an influence.
Did you get a chance to watch them play at all?
I got to see individual workouts, but I didn't get to see them run up and down.
What did you think of the upgrades to Bierman Athletic Building [which has a new court area and locker rooms]?
I really liked it. Knowing that they work fast. From the time I was in there for the team camp, there has been a lot of progress that has been made there. I like what they're trying to do with the building.
Did you feel like it looked a lot different?
It most definitely did.
How were the fans? Overhear anything at TCF Bank Stadium during the football game?
Yeah, it was crazy. As soon as I walked out of the tunnel, they just started chanting my name. It was cool to see though. I really enjoyed that part a lot. It was kind of a surprise moment, but it kind of just made me laugh a little bit.
Did you talk to any fans directly?
A couple people here and there.
What did they say?
They were just joking around, saying 'We'd love to put a banner up' if I could be committed to the U of M.
Jonathan Nwankwo was there also -- how'd you get along with him? Did the two of you get to talk?
He just told me how interested he was when he got there. It's not what he expected, so it was kind of a surprise for him, that's why I think he committed. He told me he really enjoyed his time there. That's about it. We didn't really communicate about any of the recruitment stuff.
Why do you think it wasn't what he expected?
I think him being from down south, going to school in Florida, he kind of expected Minnesota to be cold and icy and stuff like that. But you could tell he was really enjoying himself.
Did he try to recruit you after he committed?
Ah, not really. He's more of a quiet, laid back type of guy. I'm sure he was hoping I was going to say I was going there as soon as him but he didn't really try.
You've said you plan on committing around November. Is there a chance you could commit sooner?
There's a chance it could be before then, I'm not too sure. It depends on how the next visit goes.
Would you ever commit before finishing your visits?
I believe so. It's however comfortable I get with a school or just talking with family. It all depends.
Did you get to tour the academic facilities at all?
I talked to the academic counselor that's in Bierman, but other than that I didn't really get to see any of the other academic pieces of the school.
Any ideas about what you want to major in?
I haven't really thought about it. That's a long ways from now.