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’s 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’s 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’s 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’t 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’s 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’s Twitter account on Monday.
Posted by: Jason Weingold