Franklin Howard, a 4-star Class of 2015 combo guard from Washington, DC, will announce his college choice tonight during the 10 p.m. edition of SportsTalk Live with Brian Mitchell on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Howard's final list includes a sexy triumvirate of Syracuse, Georgetown, and Maryland.
Howard missed his entire junior season while rehabbing from a knee injury he sustained on the AAU circuit playing with Team Takeover in last summer's Peach Jam. With the high school season over and the EYBL season starting up soon one of the major question on everyone's mind when thinking of Howard would be the status of his knee, he gave an update in our talk on Saturday.
"I am feeling great," said Howard. "I get cleared Monday so I am just making sure my body is in tip top shape. Everything's been good so far."
Receiving that clearance to get back onto the floor was surely news Howard has been waiting to hear from his doctors for quite some time. However, despite the difficulty of having to watch from the sidelines for the entire season, Howard looks back at his situation as a positive and feels it has given him the opportunity to get a different viewpoint of the game itself.
"Obviously nobody wants to be out that long a period of time," replied Howard. "But I looked at it as a positive. I got the chance to sit down and look at the game, analyze the game and really just dissect the game from a coaches standpoint and a players standpoint. It gave me a chance to focus on my recruiting also so I just looked at it as a positive."
Now that he will be back on the floor with Team Takeover this summer Howard will be making the transition from one back court spot to the other as Frank looks to hone his skills as a point guard. Armed with this new outlook of the game I asked Howard what he was focusing on the most upon making his return to the floor this summer.
"Just making that transition to the point guard position," said Howard. "Making sure my game is in tip top shape with my jump shot and everything and that I am back at 100%."
Since I was able to speak with Franklin at Saturday's event Howard has made some recruiting news by stating he will make his decision public on April 14th, his birthday. The final six schools under consideration for Howard's commitment are, in no particular order, Georgetown, Ohio State, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia and N.C. State. While there are six schools that look to still be in play there were three visits that Howard said he planned on making in the near future and the Hoyas were among that group.
"No actual date right now," said Howard. "But I know I will be visiting Georgetown, Ohio State and Syracuse soon just no official date."
The Hoyas have been pursuing Howard since his freshman year of high school.
Howard has previously visited Georgetown's campus unofficially multiple times, including for the Midnight Madness event this past year, and has been in attendance at multiple Hoyas home games at the Verizon Center this season. Being able to get Howard back on campus one more time before his decision comes down in twelve days would be beneficial for Georgetown's chances at securing his commitment. Georgetown has proved to stay in constant contact with Howard so it would be expected for the staff to push to ensure this visit Howard mentioned happens.
"Yeah, I have been hearing from assistants and JTIII pretty often," said Howard. "At least once a week, so it's been pretty consistent."
Howard spoke with our UVa website last night and broke down what he likes about his six finalists, you can read the entire article from Jamie Oakes here via our AAVIP subscription option but I have added the portion giving Howard's overview of his final six below.
Maryland: "It's the home team for me. It's in-state and my mom's an alum of Maryland. I like the coaching staff and the program is heading in the right direction."
Georgetown: "The Hoyas have been with me since my freshman year. They tremendous tradition and my dad is a big fan. I really like Coach JTIII."
Ohio State: "I have a great relationship with Coach Dickerson. It's a Top-25 program every year and every since I was young, I could envision myself playing there."
Syracuse: "Like Ohio State, it's a great program that's always in the Top-25. There is so much tradition at Syracuse. I have a great relationship with Coach Autry. He's great."
N.C. State: "I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but I really like the staff there and the freedom that Coach Gottfried gives his players within the offense, like Cat Barber."
Howard is ranked as the No. 9 shooting guard prospect nationally and the No. 3 overall prospect in the state of Virginia by 247Sports. He has a 247Sports rating of 93 which equates to four stars.
In the recruiting industry-generated 247Sports Composite, which equally weighs prospect rankings and ratings from major recruiting media outlets, Howard is the No. 13 shooting guard prospect nationally in the 2015 class and the No. 3 overall prospect in Virginia. He has a 247Composite rating of .9573, which equates to four stars.