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Michigan basketball lands 5-star PF Isaiah Todd, highest-ranked recruit in program history

Juwan Howard secures first major recruiting victory as Michigan head coach

Five-star basketball recruit Isaiah Todd (Photo: Isaiah Todd/Twitter: @zaytodd)
Five-star basketball recruit Isaiah Todd (Photo: Isaiah Todd/Twitter: @zaytodd)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Juwan Howard secured his first major recruiting victory as the Michigan basketball coach Thursday, landing a commitment from five-star forward Isaiah Todd -- the highest-ranked recruit in program history.

Todd, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Raleigh, North Carolina, announced his commitment to the Wolverines around 7:45 p.m. Thursday, joining four-star guard Zeb Jackson in what's now looking like a loaded 2020 recruiting class.

Todd is the No. 12 player in the class, the No. 2 power forward in the nation and the No. 1 player from the state of North Carolina, according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

Todd's recruitment

On Oct. 7, Todd announced he would be choosing between Michigan and Kansas. It's unclear if the threat of serious NCAA allegations pushed Todd away from Kansas, but the Jayhawks did receive a commitment from four-star forward Gethro Muscadin earlier in the day.

That commitment, along with 13 recent 247 Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of Michigan, hinted that the Wolverines had the edge in Todd's recruitment.

Todd also chose Michigan over offers from college basketball blue bloods such as Kentucky and North Carolina. He had offers from Villanova, Florida, Virginia and Memphis, as well.

Highest-ranked recruit

With a 247 Sports Composite score of 0.9965, Todd is the highest-ranked player in Michigan basketball history, replacing Glenn Robinson III, who earned a .9934 rating in the class of 2012.

Robinson and Dion Harris -- class of 2003 -- were the only five-star players in the history of Michigan basketball, according to 247 Sports.

That is, until Thursday.

Scouting report

Todd is a star at Word Of God Christian Academy in Raleigh. His scouting report bills him as long, athletic and crafty. Todd will be a welcome addition to Michigan's 2020 offense as he can shoot and get to the basket.

As with many young players, his defense needs work. But Todd has the length and athleticism to be a very good shot blocker.

Saddi Washington was the lead recruiter for Michigan in this race, so his decision to stick with the program after John Beilein's departure is already paying off for the Wolverines.

Michigan's roster situation

Howard has been in the mix for several of the top recruits in the country since taking over in May, but Todd is the first true domino to fall in what should be a growing class.

Howard also scored recruiting victories in the 2019 class by retaining commit Cole Bajema and convincing Franz Wagner to come stateside. Those players were familiar with Michigan because of Beilein, though, while Todd's commitment is more a product of Howard's recruiting.


This is only half the battle for Howard to prove he can continue the success Beilein enjoyed in Ann Arbor. Todd is considered a raw college prospect, and Howard's NBA resume is likely a major reason he chose the Maize and Blue.

Howard spent 19 seasons in the NBA and coached with the Miami Heat for the last five years. If he can develop Todd into an early first-round draft pick, it'll add to his credibility in future recruiting battles.

The Wolverines lost three of their top players to the NBA this offseason in Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole and Ignas Brazdeikis. When Beilein's departure caused Michigan commit Jalen Wilson to flip to Kansas, it left an unfilled scholarship on the roster.

Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske will graduate at the end of the 2019-2020 season, leaving a minimum of three openings in the 2020 class.

Future recruiting battles

Howard is pursuing several possible targets to join Todd and Jackson in the class. The Wolverines currently have a slim crystal ball lead for 7-foot-2 four-star center Hunter Dickinson and are expected to land Howard's son, Jace Howard -- a three-star small forward.

Michigan is also targeting five-star guards Nimari Burnett and Josh Christopher, as well as four-star center Mark Williams and four-star wings Moses Moody and Micah Peavy.

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