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Michigan coach Juwan Howard has been swinging for the fences on the recruiting trail.

After missing out on several top prospects to Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina, Howard finally connected.

Isaiah Todd, a five-star forward from Raleigh, North Carolina, announced his commitment to the Wolverines on Thursday, his 18th birthday.

He picked Michigan over his other finalist Kansas, which could face possible sanctions after receiving a notice of allegations — including three Level I violations, the most severe — from the NCAA last month, to become Howard's first pledge.

“Me and Coach Juwan just click on a different level and I clicked with the guys when I went on my visit, and I was just truly excited to be there,” Todd told 247Sports. “I had a great time at Kansas too. It was a tough decision. I just feel like Michigan is the better fit.”

Todd (6-foot-10, 195 pounds) is ranked the No. 12 overall recruit in the 2020 class and No. 2 at his position, according to the 247Sports Composite. He surpasses Glenn Robinson III as the highest-rated recruit to commit to Michigan since 2000, which is as far back as 247Sports’ ranking system goes.

Todd averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds and 5.4 blocks last year at Trinity Academy before transferring to Word of God Christian Academy for his senior season. He also averaged 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game on the Nike EYBL circuit this past spring and summer.

Todd joins four-star guard Zeb Jackson in Michigan’s 2020 recruiting class, which has room for at least two more commitments. While Jackson made his verbal pledge last year to former coach John Beilein and hasn’t wavered on his commitment, there are rumblings Todd could potentially play overseas. Todd has downplayed the rumors and publicly stated he thinks college is the best route.

Howard said earlier this month at Big Ten basketball media day he was looking for a player to take a chance on the program and bet on themselves, much like he did when he was the first of the famed Fab Five recruiting class to commit to Michigan.

That similar pitch resonated with Todd.

“He talked about when he committed he was the first guy to commit and he started recruiting and he just thought I reminded him a lot of himself,” Todd said. “He told me that a couple of times, when we were sitting down in the film room he showed me film of him and guys on the next level and I just feel like everything fit perfectly.”

With Todd being Howard’s first recruiting domino, the Wolverines are hoping others will follow suit.

They are still in the hunt for five-star guards Joshua Christopher, Jaden Springer and Nimari Burnett, four-star centers Hunter Dickinson and Mark Williams, four-star guard Moses Moody and three-star wing Jace Howard, Juwan’s son. Six of those seven recruits have already taken an official visit to Michigan, with Christopher being the lone exception.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins

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