On the morning of March 28 — just four days after Alabama’s season came to a crushing end in the Sweet Sixteen — Nimari Burnett entered the transfer portal.
A few hours later, Juwan Howard called.
And two days after that phone call, on March 30, Burnett committed to Michigan.
“Just a match made in heaven,” Burnett said Tuesday on the ‘Defend the Block’ podcast.
Burnett nearly became a Wolverine out of high school, when he was a highly-touted five-star recruit and a consensus top-40 prospect. He had narrowed his scope to four schools: Alabama, Michigan, Texas Tech and Oregon. In September of 2019, Burnett took an official visit to Ann Arbor and, reflecting now, he says it went “very well.”
Ultimately, Burnett wound up pledging to Texas Tech. But that initial recruiting process bred a familiarity that served as the foundation for his transfer, several years later.
“My priorities changed,” Burnett said, explaining why Michigan was the right choice this time. “Knowing who the person is over the phone, knowing the character that person has and how much they want to see you succeed. Those factor into making a quick decision. Knowing who’s there, what’s there and how I could fit into the roster, those are big things, too.”