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The Wolverines are in the mix to land one of the nation’s premier big men.

Walker Kessler, a five-star center from Fairburn, Ga., unveiled his top six schools on Friday and Michigan made the cut. The other finalists are Auburn, Cal, Duke, Gonzaga and North Carolina.

Kessler (6-foot-10, 225 pounds) is rated the No. 16 overall prospect and No. 4 center in the 2020 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

He was a primary target of former coach John Beilein’s and received a Michigan offer from Beilein before he left for the NBA. However, it didn’t take long for Juwan Howard to reaffirm the program’s offer.

“Coach Howard obviously has the most experience of anybody on any of the coaching staffs at the professional level,” Kessler told Rivals.com. “He played 15 years or so in the NBA at my position. He’s told me he wants to build it up big there and I can be the start of it.

“When I found out Coach Beilein was leaving, I thought I was done with Michigan. When Coach Howard got the job, I thought it was good for him, but I wasn’t sure it would be for me. I started talking to him and I really liked what he was saying and how he was straightforward and honest about everything. I really like him.”

Michigan is also one of five finalists in the running for 2020 five-star guard Jaden Springer.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins

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