Jabri Abdur-Rahim talked to Juwan Howard for the first time on Thursday. And, in a stark departure from his predecessor, the conversation came with a scholarship offer.
John Beilein held a firm policy when it came to these things. Until a recruit stepped foot on campus, took a full academic tour, and Beilein had seen him play in-person, he didn’t extend an offer. In the last two days, Howard has extended his first two offers as Michigan’s coach, first to five-star guard Joshua Christopher and then to Abdur-Rahim — and neither have held firm to that policy.
“I understand coach Beilein’s way of doing things,” Abdur-Rahim told The Daily. “That’s the approach that a lot of schools take. Which is something I understand. I also understand the other way, too. So it’s just two different perspectives. I respect both of them.”
Since Beilein left, Saddi Washington has been in touch with Abbdur-Rahim, maintaining a relationship and bridging the gap between coaches. Though not yet officially announced, Washington is expected to be retained on Howard’s staff, with Phil Martelli and Howard Eisley rounding out the coaching staff.
“They’re trying to grow something special at Michigan,” Abdur-Rahim said. “(Howard) hopes that I could be a part of that.”
Abdur-Rahim, a four-star wing ranked 41st in the country per 247Sports’ composite, previously had an official visit to Ann Arbor scheduled for May 27, but that was swept away amidst the chaos of a coaching search. As of now, he has no plans set in stone for a visit, but that could change.
“Once all that stuff with (Beilein) happened, that kind of took over the timeframe that I had set for my junior year officials,” Abdur-Rahim said. “Now, I’m gonna just regroup and take my officials as a senior and see where that goes.”
When asked whether Howard’s status as a member of the Fab Five impacted his perception of Michigan, Jabri chose to focus instead on Howard’s NBA experience.
“It’s interesting, because he’s obviously done it before,” Abdur-Rahim said. “So that perspective is pretty cool, a person that’s played at the highest level. Like I said, I’m just trying to do my homework on everybody. Not just Michigan.”
Right now, Abdur-Rahim said, his recruitment is wide open and will likely hinge on what he sees in the upcoming season. He, as everyone else, has little indication of what Howard’s basketball philosophy is and plans to be watching closely come the fall to find out.
“I feel like I’m gonna have a better sense of my view once I see them,” Abdur-Rahim said. “… So I can watch gameplay, can watch everyone else play. Compare and contrast the schools I like and the schools I don’t like. So my view is the same for everybody right now. I’ll definitely start gaining some stronger opinions ono a lot of things once the season starts.”