Jett Howard plans to play for his father, announcing Wednesday he is committing to Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines.
While Michigan was always perceived as the favorite in Howard’s recruitment, the top-50 prospect also visited NC State, Tennessee and Georgetown.
“It was really hard. Harder than most people think,” Howard told ESPN. “I took visits and really liked the places and coaches. As of a few days ago, I was unsure. My mom and aunt played a big role as they came on the visits. They helped put things into perspective.”
Howard said his mother, Jenine, and aunt didn’t try to convince him to play at Michigan.
“Do what’s best for you,” he said of their advice. “They never leaned either way. They were so impressed by the other coaches and programs. I was, too.”
Juwan Howard wanted his son to go through the recruitment process like any other highly-rated prospect.
“My mom would tell me my dad told her the same things that he was telling me. He told me how much he believes in me as a player. That he will put me in the best position to succeed,” Jett Howard said. “What my dad said that really got my attention was, ‘We need you from day one. I know your game better than anyone else. If you were not my son, I would still recruit you.’ And, of course, I trusted him the most. He has developed me my whole life. Opportunities like this do not come around often.”
Howard finally made his college decision during a car ride with his mother recently.
“We had a lot of little conversations here and there. But we did not have family sit-downs. My mom was driving me to the airport, and I just came out and said, I am going to Michigan and I’m going to play for your husband,” he said. “Then I called my dad and told him. He started screaming ‘Let’s do it! I would have you supported you anywhere. Thanks for believing in our staff, and we need you.’ It sounds like a coach, but I knew it was my dad.”
A 6-foot-7 forward who plays at IMG Academy (Florida), Howard is ranked No. 41 in the ESPN 100 for 2022. In 12 games with the Nightrydas Elite on the Nike EYBL program in July, Howard averaged 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Howard has deep shooting range with excellent shot mechanics, preparation and balance. He has grown a few inches, which makes it easier for him to see the rim and harder for defenders to bother his shot. His jumper sets up his drive game, and his step-back jumper is one of his most effective shots. He plays with a scoring confidence that translates to his production. Howard’s playmaking abilities are sometimes overlooked because of his shot-making talent. He displays the vision to see the entire court when finding teammates.
He needs to continue to shape his frame and become a better ball handler, especially going against pressure and driving left.
Howard is the third commitment for Michigan in 2022, joining fellow ESPN 100 prospects Tarris Reed and Dug McDaniel. The Wolverines are coming off the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in 2021.