The newest member of the Dayton Flyers, Florida transfer Chase Johnson arrived on campus Saturday and will sit on the bench Sunday when the team plays Massachusetts at UD Arena.
Johnson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Ripley, W.Va., and Huntington Prep, will sit out this season and has three seasons of eligibility remaining. He’ll be eligible after the first semester next season unless he can get a waiver from the NCAA to allow him to play immediately.
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Dayton head coach Anthony Grant said assistant coach Donnie Jones’ West Virginia connections were one reason the Flyers were able to get Johnson on campus for a visit Dec. 29 and then sign him last week.
“Donnie’s from West Virginia,” Grant said, “so a lot of the people around Chase, Donnie is familiar with, so we put some things together and extended an offer for him to come to our game. He and his mom and dad were able to make it up to the game, and we were able to get him back later on that week for an official visit.”
Johnson was a four-star recruit who ranked 98th in the class of 2017, according to ESPN.com. He’s the fourth transfer to join the Flyers in the last 10 months, following Michigan’s Ibi Watson, Chattanooga’s Rodney Chatman and Nebraska’s Jordy Tshimanga, who are practicing with the team this season and sitting on the bench together during home games. Johnson will join that group.
Johnson appeared in six games in two seasons with Florida. Grant said it was just a coincidence that his staff, which is full of former Florida assistants — Grant, Jones and Darren Hertz — signed a Gator, but “the relationship at Florida certainly helped, too. They can speak to who we are.”