Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines have been handing out offers like they’re free samples at Costco over the last few weeks, with one of the latest offers going to 2023 four-star forward Devin Royal.
Hailing from Pickerington, Ohio, Royal is the 77th-ranked recruit in his class according to the 247Sports composite. He’s also ranked as the 14th best small forward and second-best recruit out of Ohio.
Royal has racked up a number of offers, with Big Ten schools like Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Illinois among those showing interest in him. In an interview with On3, Royal mentioned he’s gone on official visits to Iowa State and Marquette.
He isn’t the first person in his family who will play college sports. His dad played football at Cincinnati, one of his uncles played professional baseball and another uncle played football at Ohio State.
Like a running back, Royal seeks out contact, absorbs it well in the paint and is excellent going downhill on his drives. He can bully defenders inside with his post game and has a pretty mid-range jumper he can utilize on kick-outs.
While his release is a bit slow and he shoots from his forehead, Royal’s jumper reliably goes in. He is also versatile on the defensive side, as he protects the rim well. And based on his size, he’d likely be able to guard 3’s and 4’s at the next level, and might even be able to hold his own against 5’s.
He’s the go-to lob threat on his high school, and clearly loves to run in transition and wake the crowd up with two-handed dunks.
One small concern I have is he seems to be a bit of tweener position-wise. His high school used him as a post player and as the primary roll man. He clearly has a solid post game but at 6-foot-6, he’d probably have to play next to at least one guy taller than him in the Big Ten.
Nevertheless, Royal’s stock should continue to rise as he performs at EYBL sessions this summer. Hopefully Howard and his staff invite him to Ann Arbor for an official visit before a Big Ten rival snatches him up.