On Sunday, point guard Markus Howard announced that he will be attending Marquette University to play college basketball. He did so with this video:
In a companion exclusive story to Sports360AZ.com, Howard is not only committing to Marquette, but he is reclassifying from the class of 2017 to the class of 2016, meaning he'll be joining Marquette this fall. He'll be able to sign a letter of intent starting on April 13th. Howard told Sports360AZ the following:
"I have been very motivated in completing all of my required classes," Howard explained. "Last term I carried a 4.0 and am on track to do the same for my final high school semester. My motivation to graduate early comes from my wanting to learn from the best coaches who's desire is to continue to develop me. I will also be doing so at a younger age than most freshmen."
Howard was also considering Arizona State, Baylor, and Central Arkansas, where his older brother Jordan just finished his sophomore season. Howard had originally verbally committed to Arizona State, but reopened his recruiting after the Sun Devils fired head coach Herb Sendek. Marquette caught a break when head coach Steve Wojciechowski hired former ASU assistant Stan Johnson to fill a vacancy on his staff, as Johnson already had a relationship with Howard from his original recruitment.
The 5'11" Howard is ranked #33 in the country in the class of 2017 and rated as a four star prospect according to the 247 Composite system. 247's in house system has him ranked #25, while ESPN has him at #32 and Scout ranks him #50. Rivals doesn't have a ranking for him, but they do grade him as a four star prospect, just like everyone else did.
In the class of 2017, Howard has a score of .9856 in the 247 Composite system. If you port that score directly into the 2016 rankings, Howard would end up at #36, just three spots lower than Cassius Winston, the Michigan State commit that Marquette spent some time recruiting last summer. I'm pretty sure that's only an approximation of where Howard would rate in the 2016 class, as his 2017 scores are rated against - wait for it - other 2017 recruits. Still, probably safe to say that he would be a top 50 recruit for sure.
Here's a highlight package for Howard from this past December's Tarkanian Classic.
With the addition of Howard, Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski has no available scholarships for the 2016-17 season right now. However, it is expected that Henry Ellenson will hire an agent and enter the NBA Draft any day now, and that will open up another scholarship for this coming fall.
With that in mind, here's what Marquette's scholarship situation looks like with Howard in the fold.