Franklin Howard to Syracuse: Orange Land 4-Star Guard Prospect

Tim KeeneyContributor IApril 14, 2014

Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

It's still early, but Jim Boeheim's 2015 class is already looking incredibly promising. 

Syracuse has earned commitments from 5-star Malachi Richardson and 4-star Tyler Lydon, and on Monday, 4-star shooting guard Franklin Howard also joined the Orange. 

He announced his decision during an interview on CSN Mid-Atlantic's SportsTalk Live, via's Phil D'Abbraccio, and later confirmed his decision on Twitter: 

According to 247 Sports' composite rankings, Howard ranks as the 69th-best prospect, 13th-best shooting guard and third-best player out of Virginia in the 2015 class. He chose the Orange over Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina State and Ohio State, among other programs. 

Rivals' Alex Kline forecast what to expect from the talented youngster at Syracuse: 

Howard missed his entire junior season after tearing his ACL, but as he told 247 Sports' Michael Bohlin (subscription required), he was able to find positive takeaways from the ordeal:

Obviously nobody wants to be out that long a period of time. But I looked at it as a positive. I got the chance to sit down and look at the game, analyze the game and really just dissect the game from a coaches standpoint and a players standpoint. It gave me a chance to focus on my recruiting also so I just looked at it as a positive.

It's obviously difficult to project a roster two seasons from now, but with Tyler Ennis making his way to the NBA, the Orange will remain young at the point guard position going forward. 

True freshman Kaleb Joseph may immediately step in as the starter in 2014, and depending on how he fares, Howard, a combo guard, could be called upon for ball-handling duties the following season. 

Either way, though, if he proves during summer ball and his senior season that he is back at 100 percent, he undoubtedly has the talent to make an instant impact for Boeheim and the Orange. 

With Jerami Grant, C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Keita joining Ennis as departures, Syracuse may be in line for a down year—at least by its high standardsduring the 2014-15 season.

Even if that happens, the looming 2015 class suggests any potential struggles won't last for long.