Jon Horford to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt


According to The Wolverine, Grand Ledge senior big man Jon Horford verbally committed to the University of Michigan this afternoon. Horford was essentially offered two weeks ago and it was widely assumed that he would sign with Michigan. The only hold up was taking his visit to Ann Arbor to receive his official offer along with his academic presentation.

Horford brings some much needed height to a Michigan roster that was constantly outrebounded and overpowered in the post and graduated it’s only two post players that played significant minutes.

Horford is listed at 6-foot-9 and his weight is listed most recently at 225 pounds. I think that’s more accurate than the previously listed 185 pounds but his true weight probably falls somewhere in the middle, he certainly needs to add muscle to his frame.

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Horford averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds per game during his senior season despite facing double and triple teams nearly every night. Horford even notched a few triple doubles (pts/rebs/blks) this year.

I’ve had the opportunity to see Horford in person and also on film. Here’s what I had to say the first time I saw him play:

There is plenty to like about Horford’s game. He moves well for a big man and looks very comfortable in the post. Despite being double teamed he had a couple nice spin moves when he got the ball cleanly on the box. He also showed very nice touch finishing around the hoop. He also did a very good job passing out of double teams and finding open shooters (even if they weren’t making shots). Judging by his track record and comments, it’s clear that Beilein is fond of players that can pass the ball at every position on the court.

Calvin, who’s been out to see several Michigan recruiting targets this year, also had the chance to see Horford play and shared his thoughts, which you can read here. He also recorded some video:

For a national perspective, here’s what ESPN had to say when they saw Horford play in February:

Jon is a multi dimensional power forward. He can operate in the paint or score from the high post. That is probably one of his best attributes, his versatility. Inside Jon is solid on the block. He has decent post moves and is a good rebounder inside due to his solid basketball IQ. He understands blocking out and using his body inside. He scores mostly off garbage inside (dump offs and put backs) he is best facing the basket. He can shoot with range out to 16 or 17 feet. He is a solid defender inside though not an avid shot blocker. He is not quite the athlete that his brother was at the same stage. He will be a very solid player at the collegiate level.

Offers & Rankings

Horford’s top three college choices were Providence, Michigan, and Cal. Providence had offered and he likely would have earned a Cal offer had he visited.

ESPN rates Horford 88/100 and the #75 power forward in the class of 2010. Rivals and Scout (#42 PF) both have him rated as a three star prospect.


Horford is the younger brother of onetime Michigan commit, former Florida Gator, and current Atlanta Hawk, Al Horford. He’s also the son of former NBA player Tito Horford, so he certainly has the bloodlines. He doesn’t appear to be quite as athletic or strong at this point as his brother but his brother was widely regarded as a late bloomer.


Many scouting services have Horford projected as a power forward at the college level but he is almost assuredly a five-man in Beilein’s offense. Beilein’s five man does plenty of facing up but also plays with his back to the basket. Horford’s ability to do a little bit of both makes him the perfect fit for the five while he doesn’t have the level of skill that someone like Evan Smotrycz has to play the four, which is more of a wing position.

It’s hard to imagine Horford contributing immediately during his freshman season. He’s still too skinny and needs to get much stronger. On the other hand, nobody over 6-foot-5 on next year’s roster has played a single minute of Division 1 basketball.

It should be an open competition in the post. Jordan Morgan has had injury problems (2 surgeries in under a year, knee/shoulder) but provides a bigger frame (240 pounds). Blake McLimans is every bit as skinny as Horford but he can shoot the three, is a little bit taller, and has a year of practice time.

Scholarship Situation

Horford joins Evan Smotrycz and Tim Hardaway Jr. as the third commitment in Michigan’s 2010 class (updated scholarship breakdown). Michigan still has the capability to take two more players in the class of 2010 however doing so would handicap their flexibility in the class of 2011.

Blue-chip wing Trey Zeigler is still Michigan’s #1 priority in the class of 2010. Zeigler will decide around signing day (April 14th) between Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA, Duke, and Central Michigan.

Isaiah Sykes (recent scouting & video) is the other remaining 2010 prospect on Michigan’s radar. Sykes doesn’t have any scholarship offers at this time but has raised eyebrows with his stellar play down the stretch. Sykes calls Michigan “home” but is getting calls from USC and LSU.

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  • South Florida Maize Rage

    On the other hand, nobody over 6-foot-5 on next year’s roster has played a single minute of Division 1 basketball.

    THAT is a scary thought. Got a lot of eggs in Jon Horford and Blake McLiman’s skinny baskets and Jordan Morgan’s. Wait…Jordan Morgan’s basket just broke…Nonetheless, it’s always exciting to a get a commitment, especially from a guy with bloodlines like Horford. Let’s hope he can add size like his brother did.

  • Brian W

    gpsimms, you’re right. The where there’s smoke, there’s a fire thing is going on. The quote isn’t “No, I’m coming back” or “No comment.” It’s “how did you find out about that?”

    The NBA will most likely have a work stoppage after the 2010-11 season when the collective bargaining agreement expires. Not sure if that would influence his decision. Could be a number of things. Hope things work out for him, and he gets drafted/makes an NBA roster for next season. If not he may need to have Fresh translated into a different language and play overseas.

    If you’re like me and you didn’t get to watch Isaiah Sykes play today because you were working, the game has been archived on the MHSAA web site. The direct link is:

  • fresh

    after watching sykes i think its pretty safe to say that he is really nervous to shoot ……….guys were at least 3-5 off him from 12 feet and out the whole game and he never once shot the ball………

  • JayRich

    My guess is at the very least, Manny is putting his name in to see where the draft advisory board/scouts place him. He didn’t do this last year which means he can this year. As long as he doesn’t hire an agent, he can come back next year. however, only time will tell.

  • Kevin P

    Hey Dylan, just a quick comment on another issue. I know its early but what about these 2012 watch list names:

    Alex Murphy
    Kaleb Tarczewski
    Jordan Price

    Again I know its pretty early for these guys but you have any info on them.

  • Kevin P

    Another thought on Horford is we never know how healthy Jordan Morgan is going to be. Hurt this season and now with the knee issues. How healthy is he going to be once the season begins and goes into the big 10

  • fresh

    its not more knee issues its his shoulder

  • tom

    I can’t wait until April 14th. On that day We will know what the heck Manny wants to do, and who the heck we’re taking in recruiting. Just wondering, but saying that either Manny stays or we get Zeigler, who thinks that Horford plays as a fresh?

  • JeremyC

    Horford listed at 6-9 225, Mike Davis at Illinois listed at 6-9 220! So how can anyone say that Horford needs to redshirt and add weight and muscle before he can contribute? He’s a good athlete with size who knows how to play so play him right away!!!

  • Kainkitizen

    JeremyC you have a valid point about Mike Davis. We can also say that Jajuan Johnson at Purdue is 6’10” 225-230lbs. I think Jon Leuer at Wisconsin is 6’10” 240lbs. So I think Horford is at playable weight next year. If he wants to add on 5-10lbs this summer then it wouldn’t bother me or any of us. If we are thinking about how we defend Draymond Green type players, that’s what Jordan Morgan is for.