Recruiting: 2016 Four-Star Big Man Verbally Commits

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Coach Izzo just landed his first recruit of the class of 2016.

Nick Ward, a 6-foot-8, 230 pound forward/center, is ranked No. 47 in the ESPN Top 60 and No. 54 by 247Sports. The big man from Columbus had offers from 16 other schools, including five other Big Ten teams.

The southpaw, who committed on Wednesday, is a true big man with limited range, but is good at using his size to get position down low. Since he still has another year of high school, Ward has plenty of time to polish some of his post moves that currently consist of tip-ins and dunks.

He is a prototypical Izzo recruit, a project guy with huge upside. Many scouts have compared his style to former Spartan Zach Randolph.

By the time Ward gets onto campus, Matt Costello will be gone and who knows if phenoms Caleb Swanigan and Deyonta Davis will still stick around? Regardless, Ward should be able to step in and contribute right away.

University of Detroit Jesuit guard Cassius Winston is also hot on Izzo’s radar for the class of 2016, which could end up rivaling the ‘15 class when all is said and done. But recruiting is a fickle beast, and anything is possible.

Click here to see a highlight video of Ward.