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Mount Carmel's Rashard Todd picks Central Connecticut State

Mount Carmel wing Rashard Todd has played basketball for just three-and-a-half years, but that relatively minimal amount of on-court experience was more than enough for the coaches at Central Connecticut State.

The Blue Devils began recruiting Todd in February and never let up in their pursuit of him. On Monday, Todd rewarded their persistence with his commitment.

“It feels good,” Todd said Tuesday. “It’s been kind of stressful, but it’s nice to be DI.”

Todd joined Tom Rose’s Mount Carmel program as a sophomore. The 6-foot-7 rising senior immediately found his niche with the Cougars.

“He’s very athletic,” Rose said. “He has a very good shot and he’s really developed offensively. He’s really starting to understand where to score and those type of things. He’s come a long way, but he’s a big-time athlete. … He really faces well to the basket. And he plays well on the wing. He’s really a wing player for us. That’s where we try to keep him. I think that’s his position at the next level.”

Tauheed Burke, Todd’s older brother, said Rose was instrumental in Todd’s rapid development during the school year. In the offseason, Todd worked with Carlton BubCarrington’s Nike Baltimore Elite program. This spring he joined Albert Holley’s Crusader Nation squad on the circuit. All three coaches, Burke said, were crucial in helping Todd get to where he is today.

“He’s only been playing basketball for three-and-a-half years,” Burke said. “For [the coaches] to help him become the player he’s become, get looks from colleges and go DI, it’s crazy.”

Todd said his relationship with Blue Devils assistant coach Sean Ryan was a major factor in his decision. Burke was impressed throughout the recruiting process with coach Howie Dickenman’s track record in developing wings, and Ryan’s effectiveness as a communicator.

“Coach Ryan has always been up front for the whole recruiting process,” Burke said. “He didn’t sugarcoat anything. He always texted me, letting me know what’s going on with the whole recruiting process. We didn’t find out [anything] through the grapevine.”

One of Todd’s roles on the wing at Central Connecticut will be helping to fill the void left by Ken Horton, a senior who averaged 19 points during the 2011-12 season. The CCSU coaches told Todd that he’d be used similarly to “the way they used Ken Horton, their all-time leading scorer,” he said. “[They like] my versatility.”

Todd will also get a chance to play with an old friend from Baltimore in point guard Malcolm McMillan, who just finished his freshman year with the Blue Devils. Burke said Central Connecticut State – also the former home of pro basketball player Corsley Edwards (Lake Clifton) and Next Level Nation co-founder Cory Robinson (Cardinal Gibbons) – has been good to Baltimore athletes.

Robinson had “nothing but great things to say [about the school],” Burke said. “Most players from Baltimore go there and graduate. All that [was a] factor.”

Todd said he’s looking forward to suiting up for the Blue Devils and is thankful for his free education. What is he most excited about?

“Just the opportunity.”

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