Howard lands Todd, 1st 5-star as Michigan coach

Juwan Howard landed his first five-star prospect at Michigan on Thursday night, as top-10 forward Isaiah Todd chose the Wolverines over Kansas.

Todd took official visits to both schools in recent weeks, and also took multiple unofficial visits to North Carolina over the past couple months.

“I like coach Juwan,” Todd told ESPN last weekend. “I like the fact he used to play in the NBA, I like that he played in college, and I like the fact he played my position. I also like the school, obviously having a Michigan degree, that means something.”

Todd, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Word of God Christian Academy in North Carolina, is the No. 1 power forward in the ESPN 100 for the class of 2020. He’s ranked No. 7 overall.

Michigan was a late arrival to Todd’s recruitment, joining soon after Howard’s hire in May. He replaced John Beilein, who left for the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Wolverines landed in Todd’s top five in early August and made him a top priority in 2020.

“Me and coach Juwan clicked as soon as we met,” Todd said. “Just because he used to play. And talking to him feels like talking to one of my friends.”

Todd played for the Nightrydas Elite grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, averaging 17.9 points and 8.3 rebounds over the course of 16 games. He posted five double-doubles.

“Todd is a highly skilled forward with soft hands and displays advanced offensive instincts,” ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said. “He is a legitimate threat from both inside the paint and on the perimeter beyond the arc. At 6-foot-10, he runs well, taking big, long strides with fluid body movement and mobility. He is a vertical athlete who finishes the break with effectiveness and natural ability. If Todd produces at the level he is capable of, then a one-and-done scenario is very likely.”

The Richmond, North Carolina, native is Michigan’s second commitment in the 2020 class, joining ESPN 100 shooting guard Zeb Jackson. Jackson committed last fall, when Beilein was still in charge. The Wolverines are also in pursuit of top-50 big men Mark Williams (No. 30) and Hunter Dickinson (No. 36). They are in the final five for five-star guards Josh Christopher (No. 12) and Nimari Burnett (No. 19) and the final three for five-star guard Jaden Springer (No. 16). Michigan is also heavily involved with Moses Moody (No. 29), who took an official visit in late September.

Todd has often been considered a candidate to go overseas and play professionally for a year before entering the NBA draft, but he told ESPN last weekend that he plans to go to college.

“It’s a thought in the back of my head, but I really think the college route is the best route,” he said.

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