Pitt coach Jeff Capel and his staff reached out to top-150 recruit JaDun Michael after he decommitted from Wichita State on Monday, and on Saturday morning, Pitt was included in Michael’s top eight. The other seven finalists include Cincinnati, East Carolina, Elon, NC State, Penn State, Texas A&M and Virginia.
The 6’5”, 185-pound small forward out of the Burlington School in Burlington, North Carolina, holds a four-star rating from 247Sports. The recruiting website also lists him as the No. 148 overall prospect in the 2020 class, the No. 31 small forward and the No. 7 recruit out of North Carolina. Rivals considers Michael a three-star recruit and the No. 37 small forward in the country in the 2020 class.
Given the top eight Michael released, Capel and his staff may be at a disadvantage in the wing’s recruitment moving forward, as Michael stated discomfort traveling far from home was the reason he decommitted from Wichita State. In the message he posted on Twitter announcing his decommitment, he said the following.
”I want to thank Coach Marshall and the entire staff for welcoming me and believing in me enough to allow me to sign to their university,” Michael wrote. “Coach Marshall did not have to let me out of my [National Letter of Intent], but he did and I truly do appreciate him for that. Due to everything that is going on in the world, I just don’t feel 100 percent comfortable traveling so far from home.”
Pitt’s campus is 449 miles away from Burlington, which compares favorably to Wichita State. However, NC State is just 59 miles away from Burlington, making it roughly an hour drive, and Elon is in a town that borders Burlington, making it a 10-minute drive from the Burlington School. And while it would be a departure from the norm for a four-star recruit to choose a Colonial Athletic Association school like Elon, NC State is nearby and has plenty to offer a player of Michael’s caliber.
With that said, Capel has recruited well in the Carolinas, as he kicked off his Pitt tenure by landing Pendleton, South Carolina, native Trey McGowens and reeling in Au’Diese Toney from Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 2018. Later on, he also landed Eric Hamilton, K.J. Marshall and Ryan Murphy, all of whom have ties to the Tar Heel State through past schools. So given that track record, Capel may be able to pull off another coup.
Michael has not specified a date when a decision will be announced, but should he select Pitt, the program would be able to accommodate him, as Capel currently has two open scholarships at his disposal.