Bursting onto the Michigan basketball recruiting radar as a silky smooth, lefty, sharp shooting guard before even playing one game of high school basketball, 2015 Franklin (Ohio) four-star shooting guard Luke Kennard officially holds a scholarship offer from the Wolverines.
A foregone conclusion for quite some time, John Beilein and the Michigan coaching staff waited until June 15, the first day college basketball coaches are legally allowed to personally call or text recruits just wrapping up their sophomore year. Calling up Kennard and his parents Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines let the soft-spoken two-sport athlete know how big of a priority he is -- the first recruit to be offered by the Maize & Blue in the 2015 class.
“It was a normal conversation that we would have, and all of the coaches were there on speaker phone,” Kennard told GoBlueWolverine. “Coach Beilein asked what was going on and they were just saying how good it would be for me to be in a Michigan uniform one day.”
Although the news didn’t feature a major feeling of surprise for Kennard and his parents, the opportunity, now officially laid on the table, is of great significance to a family that stresses high achievement on and off the court.
“We’re just very honored and blessed to have that opportunity to go to a great school like that,” said Kennard. “We’re very grateful to have the chance to be a part of it.
“I feel very accomplished with that. I mean, Michigan is one of the top schools in the country -- they always are.”
The 10-minute conversation with the Wolverines was one of many calls and texts Kennard received Saturday. Also picking up an offer from Notre Dame, Kennard heard from Ohio State, Indiana, North Carolina, Duke, Iowa, and Clemson, among others, before enjoying some time poolside, away from the mayhem Saturday afternoon.
Blitzed with constant contact from schools all over the country, and only increasing now that coaches can go directly to him, Kennard admits his recruiting process is getting to a point that a top list of schools makes sense The Kennard’s plan to sit down as a family this week to figure out which schools have done enough to make the cut.
“We’re going to have to start narrowing it down some,” said Kennard. “Top 10 or top five, and then see where we go from there.”
Kennard plans to visit each of the schools that make the cut, naming Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Butler, and North Carolina first when asked who has the best shot to survive the trim.
Still looking to take his time before making a commitment, Kennard admits that if one school fully separates itself from the pack, a decision could vey well come at anytime.
“Things can change,” he said. “If I feel very comfortable and I feel like that’s the school I want to go to, and if Michigan is it -- I’ll commit.
“If I feel like I want to commit and I feel like I want to go to that school, I mean, I could do that right now if I wanted to. But that plan can change. Right now, I think that’s what we’re going to stick to.”
Also mentioning West Virginia, Dayton, Xavier, and Michigan State as schools that will have a chance to stay on his list, Kennard believes the schools that have been with him from the beginning hold an advantage over schools such as Duke that are inquiring a little later in the process, looking to catch up.
“I think it’d be kind of hard to (catch up),” said Kennard. “They’re great schools though -- it’s hard.”
Constantly on a basketball court or football field, Kennard still has a very busy summer ahead of him before fall camp rolls around, planning to be in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Chicago, and Orlando by the end of July.
Before all of that traveling, Kennard and his family will make the trip up to Ann Arbor for the weekend of June 28 in order to compete in Michigan’s team camp, another opportunity for he and the Wolverines to connect.
“I’m very excited to get back up there,” said Kennard