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JaDun Michael commits to Elon despite interest in Pitt

The four-star wing opted to attend Elon, becoming its highest-rated recruit

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 08 CAA Championship - Elon v William and Mary Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt made the top eight of Wichita State decommit JaDun Michael on Saturday, but by Monday morning, his recruitment had once again come to a conclusion, and Elon, the school closest to his hometown of Burlington, North Carolina, secured his services.

The decision was in line with a statement Michael made upon decommitting from Wichita State. At that time, Michael noted that he was backing off from his commitment because he wanted to be closer to home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

”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 said. “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 is 449 miles away from Burlington, and that compared favorably to Wichita State. But NC State, just an hour from Michael’s high school, was regarded as the favorite to land him. With that said, Elon, a lower-profile school in the town neighboring Burlington, had the benefit of proximity as well as room to accommodate Michael. It is not clear if NC State had both.

The 6’5”, 185-pound small forward out of the Burlington School 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. According to 247Sports, Michael is Elon’s highest-rated recruit on record.

Michael had reportedly been in contact with Pitt's staff, and both Rivals and 247Sports reported that Pitt had offered Michael, with the latter specifying that the offer was extended on Saturday. With that said, Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was told that Pitt did not offer Michael, so it is unclear if there was mutual interest between the two parties.

Pitt remains in the mix for Rice transfer Trey Murphy as well as traditional recruits Adama Sanogo and William Jeffress. With that said, the Pitt coaching staff faces significant competition for each of those recruits.