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2022 four-star center says Michigan is ‘prioritizing’ him

He’d be a big help for the class

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Juwan Howard loves him some big men and he is trying to reel in one of the highest-rated centers in the country in the class of 2022 in one Dereck Lively.

Ryan McMullen from Zagsblog recently sat down with the Pennsylvania native and spoke about who is putting the most effort into his recruitment to this point: “Memphis, North Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, Miami, and Pitt are the ones prioritizing me the most right now.”

What makes Michigan so appealing, the No. 38 player in the 2022 cycle explained:

Michigan: “With a new head coach in Coach (Juwan) Howard with a young team makes them exciting to watch. They compete and they are looking to build something that is intriguing to be a part of.”

That quote should get every Michigan fan excited. After just over one calendar year, Juwan Howard has created a culture in Ann Arbor that high-level recruits want to be a part of. That’s not too much of a surprise based on the 2020 class that was nearly highlighted by two top-15 recruits in Isaiah Todd (G-League) and Josh Christopher (Arizona State).

Even without those two, Howard has made a noticeable advancement in recruiting since the days of John Beilein. It seems that every week Michigan makes the top lists of some stud recruits from around the country.

If Howard can convince a few of these high-level recruits to consider Michigan, more and more are going to want to be a part of building something special, and Lively is the perfect example of it. Most of the other schools mentioned have offered scholarships to Lively. Michigan is one of the few that have yet to do so, but if he is truly a priority that should change rather quickly.

According to the 247sports composite rankings, Lively is the No. 35 recruit in the 2022 class and the No. 4 center within it. The Wolverines have already offered two centers in the class: Jalen Duren (the No. 2 player in the class) and Dylan Anderson (No. 40). Michigan has yet to earn a commit for the 2022 class and missed out on the in-state jewel of the class, Emoni Bates, to Michigan State.

As we sit right now Michigan has five open scholarship slots for the 2022 class. One of those could hypothetically still be filled this season. There are two open slots available for 2021. So, there is a lot of leeway for Howard to manipulate this roster to his liking, even with Jett Howard (No. 44 overall), Juwan’s son, highly favored to land at Michigan in the 2022 class.

Howard and company have offered 12 players in the 2022 cycle, all of which are within the top-100 recruits in the nation.