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Utah Basketball: Freshman Jayce Johnson Begins Practicing

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah men's basketball team is getting a new body that will be joining practice this week, with big man Jayce Johnson being cleared to play. The coaching staff has yet to indicate if he'll get any game action, but they haven't ruled it out. After Jakob Poeltl, the Utes don't have a lot of big man depth, and if Johnson is ready to play, he could be a big addition to the team. However, it'd have to be thought out, because would that be worth burning a red shirt? We'll find out in the coming weeks how Utah plans to use Johnson, if at all this season.

Here's the official release from Utah athletic department on Johnson's joining the team.

SALT LAKE CITY - Incoming freshman Jayce Johnson has arrived on campus and will begin working out with the Utah men's basketball team beginning Monday, Dec. 21.

Johnson, who signed a National Letter of Intent this past November, was originally a four-star prospect in the 2016 class, but reclassified into the 2015 class as a mid-season addition. He graduated from Santa Monica High School early and will enroll at Utah this Spring semester.

Johnson, who was part of the three-player incoming class announced by head coach Larry Krystkowiak this past November, was ranked the No. 47 overall recruit at 247sports.com this past fall and was tabbed the No. 11-ranked center overall by ESPN. Meanwhile, Scout.com called Johnson "one of the best true 5-man players in the nation."

"We are really looking forward to having Jayce begin his college career today," Krystkowiak said. "He is a terrific player and a high-character young man. I am excited for him and our program."

Johnson will participate in practice today and will be available off the bench in Tuesday's home game against Delaware State. Tip-off between the Utes and Hornets is set for 7 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.