Five-star wing Josh Langford says ‘it’s all there for me’ at Michigan

Alejandro Zúñiga
on

As he makes his college decision, Josh Langford has a series of criteria that will help him evaluate the dozens of schools that have courted him.

For the 2016 five-star wing from Madison (Ala.) Academy, Michigan matches all the requirements. As Langford said in an interview with UM Hoops on Tuesday night, he “can check all the boxes” at Michigan.

“It’s all there for me,” Langford said.

Specifically, Langford is looking for a university that offers a top-tier education, and a program that can both develop guards and allow him to be a spiritual leader.

“I’m probably better-ranked than Caris LeVert and Trey Burke and those guys coming out of high school,” Langford said. “If you see what they did for them, the sky’s the limit for what they can do for me.”

Langford and his father visited Ann Arbor last Tuesday for the Wolverines’ game against Illinois. The wing was impressed with the sellout crowd and also by how Michigan erased a 13-point deficit to earn the win.

And for a player who said playing time will be a major factor in his college choice, the performance of one freshman left a big impression.

“I can honestly say, I can check all the boxes at Michigan.” twitter

“Me being the kind of player I am, I think I can make an impact right away when I get on campus,” Langford said. “The way that LeVert and Dawkins and Irvin played, they played every minute. They’re trying to find their guys.

“They have a great coaching staff. I think they prepare the guys very well skill-wise. Coach Beilein has a great offensive mind. He’s a great offensive coach. Any guard can go off in their offense. Dawkins was on, and they put him in spots to make his shots. He was hot, so they kept getting him the ball. He played a great game.”

Langford, who also visited Ann Arbor during the summer, said he frequently remains in touch with John Beilein, Jeff Meyer and LaVall Jordan.

The wing hasn’t chosen a list of top programs yet, and he says “everybody still has a chance.”  But so far, Michigan is in a good position.

“Most importantly is the school,” he explained. “What do they offer me education-wise? At the end of the day, you want to make a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision. Basketball doesn’t last forever. There’s a lot of life after retirement, and you want to have something to fall back on. School, education, that’s what I’m really looking at.

“How do they play their guards? How is the relationship with the coaching staff and the guards? Am I going to be able to be a spiritual leader there? I’m big in my faith, and I believe God is the only reason we’re here. Spiritually, will they help me grow better as a man?

“I can honestly say, I can check all the boxes at Michigan.”

  • Tony DeMaria

    I’m really hoping 2016 is a great class, seems like they are really aiming high as the 14 and 15 classes look to be underwhelming. Gotta keep the momentum going!

    • W3

      After reading this article my reaction is: “So commit”
      What the heck else is there then!!????

  • sane1

    He says all the right things. When Calipari tells him how deep his faith is, we’re toast.

    • Wayman Britt

      sane1: you are right on. When Calipari call$ many top recruits and their family cannot $ay no.

    • ChathaM

      Haha. Gotta admit that one of my first thoughts was “what about the I’m Going To Kentucky box?”

  • Wayman Britt

    If your goal is to make the elite eight or final four you must have at least two NBA players on your team. They don’t have to be from the same class, but you need a couple elite players. So far UM doesn’t have any in the class of 2015 or on the team now (except Caris) so the class of 2016 is very important if UM’s goal is to make the finals.

    • Indiana_Matt

      You don’t think Irvin will be a pro?

  • NorthernBlue

    Give me this kid and an elite point guard in 2016. Ramsey, Thornton or Winston. That and any under the radar guys would be a great class along with Teske.

    In regards to Kentucky. Lots of people can’t say no, we saw it with Booker, but according to his interview he seemed keen on having the ball, the development of guards, and playing ALOT of minutes – much harder to get that situation at Kentucky. You have to be the elite one of the elite.

  • David Remmler

    After one very subpar recruiting year in 2014 and a complete zero in 2015, we really need to have a good recruiting class in 2016. We need at least a couple top 50 players in addition to Teske, preferably a guard and a wing/forward. Otherwise, we will have a tough time staying a top 20 caliber team. Even Beilein’s magic has its limits.

    • sane1

      I agree that 2016 is very important, but it’s too soon to say that 2014 was sub par. Doyle looks to be at least a solid B1G 5 going forward, probably more with more experience and conditioning. Dawkins could be the find of this class. Let’s see where he is in a year or two. Chatman is struggling now, but he was a top 30 recruit who is just not progressing as fast as we would like. Wilson, IMO, has a ton of upside. MAAR is just now getting into the rotation. We really can’t judge this class for another year or two.

      • David Remmler

        Very good points. I am also hopeful that the 2014 class will prove to be better than it appears. Beilein’s track record would suggest this is most likely. But I would still say it’s very subpar for a school with Michigan’s recent track record (Final Four, Elite Eight, National a Player of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year, two lottery picks, 5 NBA draftees including 4 first rounders) in the past two years to only pull in a #26 ranked class with only one top 50 recruit.

        If Beilen has this team back in the NCAA tournament this year or next year, it’s further testament to his phenomenal talent evaluation and coaching. But even with Beilein at the helm, we need a major uptick in recruiting in order to get back to the final Four.

        • 93Grad

          I agree with you on the 2014 and 2015 classes. I don’t see any all conference caliber players there in the next couple years. Maybe they all stay 3-4 years and eventually develop, but even that is a bit underwhelming given our recent successes on the court and in getting recruits to be impact players early on. It is also disappointing given our obvious needs. This does not mean I am down on JB or his staff, just that we really need the 2016 class to be a home run to get us back to being one of the top teams in the conference and one of the better teams nationally.

  • geoffclarke

    I know he is old for his class…any chance he reclassifies to 2015? Is it probably too late to make that decision?

  • Guest

    Just a quick comment. Not harping on anyone. But I keep hearing this buzz that 2014’s class is underwhelming. They’ve only played half of their freshman year, folks. Remember, generally the majority of players (ones who aren’t in that upper elite strata) come into their own as sophomores… if not juniors and seniors. We haven’t even seen what Wilson can do. We haven’t seen what Robinson will be capable of at the D1 level. I think Doyle, Chapman, Dawkins, Robinson and Wilson could very likely be excellent juniors in a couple years. Match them with a couple elite 2016 recruits and we could be very scary. Built for a final four run, I think.

    Now if you want to call 2015 a recruiting disappointment, that is hard to argue.

    • 93Grad

      I agree that some players take longer to develop, but it would have been nice to seen more flashes of talent, particularly from Chatman. I just don’t see it, at all other than being tall.

      I agree that Wilson and Robinson are somewhat unknowns and Doyle and Dawkins look to be contributors. I think a lot of us were just expecting more instant impact given our recent successes on and off the court. Maybe that was too ambitious.

    • polisci

      I agree. I don’t know what’s going on in people’s memories about our recent impact players, but I can remember only two, THJr and GRIII. Morris and Burke took most of their freshman years to develop. McGary showed up for the last month of his freshman year. Stauskas was nice, but a streaky shooter at best his first year.

      The reason the last two years have been so good is because Burke and Stauskas blew-up their 2nd years.

      There is no doubt in my mind that the 2014 class will be the corner stone of great teams the next three years. Heck, I haven’t given up on this year either.

    • David Remmler

      I wouldn’t call the 2014 recruiting class a “disappointment.” It is too early for that. But purely from a recruiting standpoint, it was very subpar for what is now an elite basketball school. Of all our top targets, we missed on all but one. And even if some of the lower ranked players prove to be hidden gems, they will typically take more time to develop than higher ranked players.

      If Beilein had reeled in just a couple more of his top targets (the players he most desired), the class would easily be a top ten ranked class. I’m sure Beilein would not characterize the recruiting results as highly successful. I don’t think he spent all that time on Booker only to be happy he chose to go to play for sleazy coach Cal.

  • Indiana_Matt

    Everyone thought Chapman would be more of a force as a freshman. The kid has plenty of time to bounce back. As I recall, more than a couple lottery picks over the last few years didn’t blossom until their sophomore or junior years. I think the 2014 class could end up being very, very successful. Think about what each of these kids could be as a junior or a senior. I think the fair time to discuss the success or failure of a recruiting class is after they all have used up their eligibility. We were spoiled by the amazing 2012 class. They were an outlier folks. Probably will go down as one of the top 5 classes all time at Michigan. If we add a couple key talents in 2016 I think the 2014 group will be the backbone of at least one Final Four run. Not this year or next year though. Gotta take the long view.

    • ChathaM

      I think what’s most important to remember about the ’14 class
      is that they weren’t recruited to be instant heavy contributors. Doyle was
      viewed as a potential redshirt until the Horford and McGary departures. In
      fact, until the Stauskas, Robinson, and McGary departures, none of which were planned
      for during the normal recruiting process, I don’t believe that Dawkins or
      Rahkman were even on the radar. Given that context, to expect much from anyone
      other than Chatman was wrong from the jump. So yeah, you have to take the long
      view, especially considering the circumstances.

      The only disappointment to me has been Chatman, and not
      because of effort or anything like that. He earned a starting spot, so the
      effort and attention must be fine. I simply assumed that a top 30ish non-big talent
      would be more athletic and have better ball skills than he’s shown. He can certainly
      end up a solid contributor down the road.

      • NorthernBlue

        I’m not surprised Chatman is struggling, and it is not for lack of talent. Guy made a life decision to focus more on academics last year, but also played in a really weak league of ball. Most of these high major guys would go up against a high major guy on a lot of nights, Chatman never would, making the speed adjustment way harder for him than a lot of freshmen. He will bounce back as a sophomore.

    • Steve2081

      Chatman

  • Chezaroo

    I’m not holding my breath for a Langford commitment. This is typical recruit speak regarding their early interest, only to be mesmerized by a “better” offer later on.

  • gobluemd16

    While these are obviously overwhelmingly positive comments, it is still very early in the process for Langford. The things he said about Michigan, you could probably say about Duke as well, which is another school in his presumed top group. As others have said below, we gotta start hitting on some of these top recruits; a talent bump is needed.