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Another potential recruit for Syracuse basketball’s class of 2015, Franklin Howard, is expected to announce his college choice on his birthday,¬†April 14.¬† Syracuse is one of six finalists for the Virginia native.
The 4-star guard, listed between 6’4″ and 6’5″, has narrowed his college choices down to Syracuse, Ohio State, Georgetown, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina State.¬† 247sports currently lists Syracuse as the favorite to land Howard, which would make him the third member of the Orange‚Äôs 2015 recruiting class.
Howard is considered a combo guard who can make shots but can also share the ball.¬† However, he is in the midst of returning from an ACL tear.¬† He missed his entire junior season because of the injury.¬† Howard is currently close to returning to game action, according to his AAU coach, Keith Stevens. ¬†He was cleared by doctors a couple weeks ago.
Howard has many reasons to join the Orange, the most important being the team‚Äôs lack of depth at guard.¬† With the departure of Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis in the last two years, the Orange may¬†rely on incoming freshman Kaleb Joseph to run the offense.¬† The Orange‚Äôs only other recruit for forward is Chris McCullough.¬† This means that Howard has the potential to fit into the rotation immediately.
Howard visited the Syracuse campus for Orange Madness, the Syracuse celebration for the beginning of basketball season.¬† He received an offer from the team last October.
One thing Orange fans have to worry about is the number of available scholarships.¬† The team has offered many scholarships to a number of the top players, and many who may pick the Orange will not have a chance to accept, because available scholarships are taken.¬† The Orange brought in five freshmen in 2013, and is only graduating two players.¬†¬†If Jerami Grant leaves, that would open up another spot for 2015, but Grant hasn‚Äôt declared for the NBA Draft.¬† Experts¬†expect McCullough to depart after his freshman season¬†at SU, but by that time, most recruits (if not all) will have already made their decisions.
Howard‚Äôs skill set includes the ability to catch-and-shoot, especially from outside the arc.¬† However, he also has the ability to drive to the hoop and slash through defenders.¬† He has a large wingspan and can pass around the hoop in traffic.
The battle seems to currently lie between Syracuse and hometown teams like Virginia and Georgetown.¬† All eyes will be turned to the junior‚Äôs Twitter account¬†on Monday.
Posted by: Jason Weingold