Jaxon Johnson will be taking his talents to Salt Lake City.
The 6-foot-8, 190-pound standout forward from Alta High announced Thursday afternoon that he will be playing college basketball for the Utah Utes following a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I chose Utah because I feel like I have the most trust in that coaching staff. I have great relationships with guys on their team and I know that I can come in make an instant impact. It was kind of a no-brainer when it came down to it and I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to play there,” Johnson told On3 Sports’ Joe Tipton.
A near consensus four-star recruit in the 2024 class — On3 Sports, Rivals and ESPN all have him as a four-star, with both On3 Sports and Rivals rating him as a top 100 prospect — Johnson also had offers from Nevada, Utah State, Cal, Weber State and UC San Diego, per 247 Sports.
Rated a top-three prospect, at worse, in Utah for 2024, Johnson has recorded over 800 points, 100-plus made 3-pointers, 400-plus rebounds and over 150 assists during his high school career in Sandy, most of which came as a junior last season.
“Jaxon Johnson is a skilled face-up four man who stretches the floor and has a definite niche in offensive structure,” writes 247 Sports’ Adam Finkelstein. “He shoots the ball with deep range and a soft natural touch that gives him gravity spacing the court, playing pick-and-pop, and in other types of screening action. He is a willing ball-mover and good passer for his size, with high court awareness and good instinctive feel for the game.
“He also has terrific hands. Physically and defensively, there are some limitations. He’s not a super fluid mover or naturally explosive athlete, and yet also needs to build up his frame and get stronger in order to play through contact at the next level. He does have some length, in large part because of fairly broad shoulders, that, along with his intellect for the game, should help him compensate on the defensive end.”
As a junior, Johnson helped lead Alta to a 24-4 record and the 5A state championship.
“I can’t even speak right now,” Johnson told the Deseret News after the state title win, which snapped a 13-year championship drought for the Hawks.
“You work all year for this,” he said. “I’m speechless, it’s just amazing.”
Alta coach Travis Ohrn declared Johnson the best player in Utah following the state championship, telling the Deseret News, “Jaxon Johnson is the best player in the state and he could average 30 points a game if he wanted to, but he wants to win and he’s going to make the winning plays.”
Johnson will play one more season at Alta, beginning Nov. 20 against Kansas-based Sunrise Christian Academy.
He is the second recruit to commit to Utah for 2024, joining Real Salt Lake Academy guard David Katoa. Katoa is considered a top-seven recruit in Utah.