Gator Nation received the shocking news on Sunday that forward Keyontae Johnson would look to make his return to the college basketball court next season and that it wouldn’t be at the University of Florida. Johnson entered the transfer portal and immediately became one of the most interesting names on the market.
Sports Illustrated couldn’t help but include Johnson on its list of top transfers, placing him at No. 25 out of 25 on the list because of the obvious uncertainty surrounding his medical eligibility. Even with Johnson not having played for over a year, it makes sense that some teams would look to clear him and take a chance by adding him to the roster. He was named the Southeastern Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year in 2020 before his collapse at Florida State in December and was playing at an elite level.
Of course, there’s the complication of Johnson’s reported insurance policy that could pay upwards of $5 million if he doesn’t end up playing basketball again.
On basketball ability alone, Johnson would be the clear top player on this list. But Johnson was never cleared by Florida’s medical staff to return to action after he collapsed on the floor during a December 2020 game against Florida State that left the Gators star in a coma. Any school bringing in Johnson would need the support of its medical staff.
It would be a risky move for any team that did choose to bring him on, but the payoff could be enormous. He was averaging 16.0 points and 4.5 assists per game as a sophomore before his career took a pause. There aren’t any obvious destinations for Johnson just yet, but one would think at least a few Power Five programs are putting together a collective offer for him while talking to their medical team.
If Johnson does get cleared, he could end up being one of the most captivating stories in the country over the next year or so in college basketball.
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