In just five weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on across the country, Juwan Howard has kept building Michigan’s future on the virtual recruiting trail. So far, those efforts have resulted in a trio of commitments for his 2021 class, adding on to his four-man 2020 group as the foundation for Michigan’s future.
It’s a trio that includes players at three different positions, from three different states, each in the nationwide top 150, per 247Composite rankings. What it doesn’t include is a veritable star — a player of the caliber that Howard narrowly missed out on a year ago in Josh Christopher and Isaiah Todd.
That could all change with Nate Bittle.
Bittle, a five-star center who ranks in the top 10 nationally, is among Howard’s primary 2021 targets — the type of player who would be the cornerstone of nearly any school’s class. And while all three of 247’s Crystal Balls suggest Bittle will stay in his home state and attend Oregon, Michigan has been rapidly rising for him lately, after getting a late start on his recruitment when Howard was hired just 14 months ago.