College basketball recruiting: Michigan coach Juwan Howard extends scholarship offer to son Jace

Only a few months on the job, new Michigan coach Juwan Howard is already capitalizing on every advantage he can get -- including familial connections.

Howard this week extended an offer to rising Class of 2020 recruit Jace Howard, an unranked-but-rising forward prospect from Florida. If the name sounds familiar, it should: he's Juwan Howard's son and now at the top of the list for him in the recruiting realm.

The U of M offer to the 6-foot-7 Howard isn't a family hookup. He's already an established recruit with national interest. Dayton, Northern Illinois, Saint Louis and San Diego State have offered thus far according to 247Sports, but the Wolverines figure to shoot up his list both because of their athletic history and the obvious connection to his father. 

Howard was already being recruited by Michigan prior to his father's arrival, but he hadn't gotten an offer. Now that he has the chance to join his dad at Michigan though, the odds seem to be in UM's favor. Ironically, before Howard was hired, his son spoke on the subject of his lure to younger prospects and how his appeal could help sway high-schoolers to commit.

"That should be very attractive," he told 247Sports about his father's basketball background. "His pedigree, he's played with LeBron (James), lived with Michael Jordan for a summer, played with D-Wade, he's been a franchise player all the way to the last player on the bench. His ability to relate to different players is big and huge for a kid trying to learn this game and trying to eventually make money off this game whether pros, overseas or whatever that person chooses to do. His experience, I feel like, is very intriguing for young prospects to want to look at."

The elder Howard in short order has done well for himself on the recruiting trail. Four-star signee Cole Bajema signed last fall and remained committed through the coaching change, and four-star forward Franz Wagner -- the brother of former UM star Moe Wagner -- committed and signed. Both will be freshmen this fall. As for 2020, the future looks bright. Four-star guard Zeb Jackson is already on board, and if Howard can leverage his connections right, his son may be joining him.

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