GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When he signed with Florida last fall, Keyonte Johnson was billed as one of the elite athletes in his recruiting class, and was armed with a reputation as a high-flyer to match.
The freshman forward reported to the Gators as advertised.
Johnson, the 6-foot-5, 209-pounder from Norfolk, Va., went through his orientation assessment — height, weight, body composition, etc. — with the strength and conditioning staff Sunday and got everyone’s attention when he popped a 41.5-inch vertical jump that rated among the best UF coordinator Preston Greene had ever seen. The next-closest performance Greene could recall that resembled the leap Johnson executed came when he was an assistant at Arizona in 2000.
“Richard Jefferson,” Greene said.
Before anyone starts comparing Johnson to a former lottery pick and 18-year NBA veteran, slow the roll. Greene, who is not one to dabble in hyperbole, was referencing a past experience as an example of the rarity of such a jump. That’s a good thing, and a really cool thing, but not much more than that.
Or as UF assistant coach Darris Nichols put it, “Means he can jump high.”
Here’s how it went down: Gators assistant strength coach Ryan Hornstra set the tabs on the Vertec stand. The highest it extended was 12 feet.