Jett Howard says he was expecting to commit to Tennessee this week before switching to Michigan
Jett Howards commitment to Michigan on Wednesday was assumed to be inevitable because he is Juwan Howard's son, because the Michigan football team wanted him, and because his brother was already on the roster.
No, apparently not.
Howard stated in an Instagram Live video that he planned to visit Tennessee on Monday. A conversation with his father, who is Michigans head coach, and other family members changed his mind.
Howard is Michigans fourth commit in the 2022 class, which includes all four-star prospects and is ranked third nationally.
That he declared himself a future Wolverine was, according to him, no guarantee.
Howard named his top seven colleges in August and visited his final four schools in September: North Carolina State, Tennessee, Michigan, and Georgetown.
Howard outlined each visit on Wednesdays Instagram Live with ESPN's national recruiting director Paul Biancardi. He talked about the secluded campuses and the talented coaching staff. He said he was sick during his Michigan visit because 'he wasn't well'. It was a little awkward here and there, but it was awesome, he said.
Howard was unsure what was going through his mind as he prepared to make his decision, according to Biancardi. Howard said, seemingly referring to IMG Academy head coach Sean McAloon, "Me and my coach went over a list of the pros and cons of every school." The coaching, the environment, players who want to play with you, everything. We kind of broke that down.
Howard made the announcement that most recruiting experts and fans expected: Ill be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Michigan.
Biancardi congratulated him before saying, We talked a little bit ago and you told me how hard this decision was and how unsure you were just as of.... What tilted it? What changed it for Michigan?
Howard stated, From Monday through Monday, I was going to go to Tennessee. I was not ready to leave for Tennessee. I just sat down with my dad and had like a heart to heart moment, and he told me everything that I needed to hear. He told me he trusted me and all the things a person needs from me. I just trust him, so I really just believed in him and took the chance.
Tennessee, coached by Rick Barnes, has the fourth-ranked recruiting class for 2021 (Michigans is second), but only one commitment so far for 2020.
Howard announced on Oct. 5 that he would announce his college decision on October 13. The exact date of that decision is unknown, but it appears to have been finalized very recently.
Howard was asked how he learned the news to his parents on the way to the airport. I was about to leave for IMG (in Bradenton, Florida), and I told em that I had a dream. I was like, Mom, I kind of want to get this thing out of the way. She was like, OK, lets do it. Lets call the coaches. Lets figure out what you want to do.
She called my aunt on the phone and we sort of got together and determined Michigan was the right place. I told her, then we called the other coaches and told them whats going to happen.
He called his dad, who is now in his third season as Michigans head coach. My dad was super excited, and I was very impressed. He was going around the office in front of everyone like, My son just committed to me. It was a good moment. It was nice.
Juwan Howards first reaction after hearing the news? According to Jett, He started screaming, honestly. He was like, Lets go! You see, he does his little lets go thing, then starts pumping his chest. He was just so happy. It was a good moment. It was a fantastic evening. I didnt have the chance to tell my brother either. Im just happy to play with my brother and play together.
Jace Howard is a sophomore with the Wolverines. He, too, made other visits and considered his options carefully. The brothers will play together in Ann Arbor next season.
According to the 247sports composite, Jett is a 6-foot-7 forward ranked No. 37 in the 2022 class. McAloon, the IMG coach, told MLive on Wednesday that "he's an elite shooter you can't leave open at any time." Extremely good playmaker with the ball to create shots for himself or others. It is the best passer at his position, and I think he is.
Howard told Biancardi that Michigan is getting a versatile, unselfish player who is regarded as 'a good teammate' and cares the most about winning. He stated he wants to improve his left hand, his defense, and his communication skills.
Hell have these and more in his final season at IMG and then at Michigan under his father.
Jett said that he knows my game better than anyone else. He understands the areas I need to improve on as well, so thats what s most important.