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Guard Xavier Johnson officially joins Pitt's 2018 recruiting class

Jerry DiPaola
| Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 10:30 a.m.

Pitt coach Jeff Capel officially added another guard prospect to his 2018 recruiting class when Xavier Johnson of Arlington, Va., signed his National Letter of Intent.

Johnson joins four-star guard Trey McGowens in Pitt's incoming freshman class.

Johnson, who verbally committed to Pitt on April 28, is rated a three-star prospect by He also is ranked as the seventh-best prospect in Virginia and the 33rd point guard in the nation by ESPN. He is No. 9 in the state, according to 247Sports.

Johnson, 6-foot-3, led Bishop O'Connell to a 30-9 record and No. 5 state ranking after averaging 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game last season. He topped the 30-point mark four times and had four double-doubles and was named Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year and all-state by the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association.

Johnson received offers from more than 20 Division I schools, including Georgetown, Nebraska, N.C. State, Creighton and Georgia Tech.

"Xavier is an outstanding guard prospect with the athleticism and skill set to be an impact player on our team," Capel said in a statement. "His quickness and competitiveness are his biggest assets and he has also shown the ability to use both to take over the game on either end of the floor.

"Xavier has the opportunity to be a building block for the future of our program. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work with him as he continues his growth as a player and as a person."

Pitt's roster also got a boost when Malik Ellison, who sat out last season after transferring from St. John's, announced on Instagram that he is staying at Pitt.

Zoo Era

A post shared by Malik Ellison (@likzero) on

"I am excited about the future of Pitt basketball," Ellison's wrote. "Coach Capel has been impressive in the short time I have known him and I look forward to playing for him.

"I believe in his vision for the program and trust that he and his staff will help me reach my full potential on the court. I am ready to get back to work with my teammates and the coaching staff."

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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