Terrance Williams thinks five-stars Isaiah Todd, Joshua Christopher will join him at Michigan

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

College Park, Md. — Terrance Williams didn’t try to hide his excitement about joining the Wolverines.

The four-star forward from Washington, D.C., was among the minority of fans who was decked out in Michigan gear for Sunday’s regular-season finale at Maryland.

Four-star forward Terrance Williams commited to Michigan in January.

After taking in the game and cheering on his future team, he commonly used “we” when talking about the Wolverines.

“April 15th, I'm signing that day,” Williams said, referring to the start of next month’s regular signing period. “First day.”

The real question is which big names will — or won’t — be signing on the dotted line and making their commitment official with Williams, most notably five-star recruits Isaiah Todd and Joshua Christopher.

Todd, the No. 13 overall recruit in the nation, committed to Michigan back in October, but held off on inking his letter of intent during November’s early signing period, which didn’t ease concerns that he may head overseas. Christopher has yet to make his college decision, but the Wolverines have emerged as the favorite to land the nation’s No. 10 recruit.

While Williams didn’t go as far as to make any guarantees, he’s hopeful the Wolverines’ 2020 haul will include the two McDonald's All-Americans.

“I'm not making no promises for anybody, but I think he (Todd) is going to sign,” Williams said.

Williams said he talks regularly with Todd because all five Michigan commits — a group that includes four-star center Hunter Dickinson (unsigned), four-star guard Zeb Jackson (signed) and three-star wing Jace Howard (unsigned) — communicate in a Snapchat group chat.

“Hopefully we get Josh Christopher and he can be added in there,” Williams said.

Williams said he doesn’t talk to Christopher as often as Todd, but he usually speaks with him on a weekly basis.

“I know when I was in that position of making my decision, I just wanted to be thinking on my own with my family, not getting a lot of people in my ear,” Williams said. “I'm going to talk to him, of course, to come to Michigan, but it's his own decision and I'm not going press him about it."

While Williams isn’t going to badger Christopher, he thinks the words of fellow recruits carry weight and could possibly play a role in where Christopher decides to go out of his four finalists — Arizona State, Michigan, Missouri and UCLA.

“I think that's a big factor. We're all communicating to him,” Williams said. “Just hearing other recruits talk about, 'Yeah, we want you here,' that gives you a home feeling. At least for me it does."

It didn’t take long for Williams to experience a similar feeling with Michigan. After he decommitted from Georgetown in December — “my heart really wasn’t there,” Williams said — coach Juwan Howard was the first one to call and flew to D.C. the next day to watch him play.

“That meant a lot to me,” Williams said. “It showed that he really cared.”

Later that month, Williams took an official visit to Ann Arbor where he bonded with the team, spent more time with Howard and reconnected with associate head coach Phil Martelli, who had been recruiting Williams since the ninth grade when he was the head coach at Saint Joseph’s.

Williams ended up committing before he made the trip back home.

“I just know the coaching staff and the players, and I think it's all a family,” Williams said.

However, Williams admitted he had his reservations about Howard at first, especially with him being a first-time head coach. That’s why he originally committed to Georgetown over Michigan in July.

But that all changed when Williams was able to watch Michigan play and he got to see how he would fit in Howard’s system at the three and four positions. The Wolverines’ blitz in the Bahamas where they thumped Iowa State, North Carolina and Gonzaga sealed the deal.

“Those three games right there showed me that Coach Howard is built for this big-time basketball,” Williams said. “That showed me that he could really coach.”

Not to mention recruit. Howard, so far, has assembled a five-man class that ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 4 in the nation behind Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina, per 247Sports.

It’s a class Williams is also high on. He noted he has “good chemistry” with Dickinson and Todd because they all grew up together and he played on AAU teams with each of them. He built a bond Jace Howard and Jackson at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp this past summer.

But even with all the pieces in place, Williams thinks there’s a chance that national ranking could change.

"I think that's a good class for Juwan's first class as a head coach,” Williams said. “I think once we get this next man (Christopher)…I believe we're going to move up some more. I think it's a good class right now as it is, even if we don't get him. Us five right now, I think we can do some damage in the Big Ten.”

Big Ten tournament

Here is the schedule for the 2020 Big Ten men's basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. All games on BTN unless noted.


► No. 12 Minnesota vs. No. 13 Northwestern, 6

► No. 11 Indiana vs. No. 14 Nebraska, 8:30


► No. 8 Rutgers vs. No. 9 Michigan, noon

► No. 5 Iowa vs. Minnesota-Northwestern winner, 2:30

► No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Purdue, 6:30

► No. 6 Penn State vs. Indiana-Nebraska winner, 9


► No. 1 Wisconsin vs. Rutgers-Michigan winner, noon

► No. 4 Illinois vs. Iowa-Minnesota/Northwestern winner, 2:30

► No. 2 Michigan State vs. Ohio State-Purdue winner, 6:30

► No. 3 Maryland vs. Penn State-Indiana/Nebraska winner, 9


► Semifinals, 1 and 3:30 (CBS)


► Final, 3:30 (CBS)


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins