Now that the Donovan Jeter recruitment is over with, the Pitt coaches will now just turn the page and their attention to other targets in hopes of landing a commitment.
Although losing Jeter wasn’t good, at least he made his decision early enough to allow the coaches to zero in on other defensive line prospects. Two things that I’m sure of, is that this loss won’t damper the coaches enthusiasm and that Pat Narduzzi will still bring in talented players.
Pitt currently has commitments from 14 recruits and are likely to take 10 or so more players.
Here’s a look at some players that I think have Pitt high on their list or that Pitt really should pursue hard.
Lamont Wade, Clairton CB: One thing has stayed consistent and hasn’t changed since National Letter of Intent Day in February, Lamont Wade was and still is Pitt’s most important recruiting target this year. Period. Not only is he the #1 recruit in the state, he’s one of the top recruits in the entire country. Wade is the type of player that comes into a program and makes a difference from day one. If he selects Pitt and if healthy, he’ll start as a freshman, he’s that good.
The question is, like former WPIAL stars Jordan Whitehead and Damar Hamlin, will Wade pick Pitt? I think this will come down to Pitt vs. Penn State. How Pitt performs this year could end up being a factor.
Kwantel Raines, Aliquippa, S: I realize Raines is in the Class of 2018 but I feel he’s as important of a recruit as Pitt’s went after in the last few years. He’s in the level of a Damar Hamlin, Lamont Wade, Miles Sanders, Phil Jurkovec type recruit. In other words, Raines is a future superstar and Pitt needs to land him and I think they will.
TyJuan Garbutt, Virginia, DE: Garbutt has the skill level to be a superstar in Narduzzi’s defensive scheme. The Pitt coaches realize that and is one of the reasons they were the first school to offer him when he was a sophomore. This battle will likely come down to Pitt and Virginia Tech. I’d guess that the Hokies likely have the lead but this one will come down to National Letter of Intent Day.
Thayer Munford (Ohio) or Carter Warren (New Jersey): Pitt will take two more offensive lineman in this class. Both these lineman are highly rated and both are from areas that Pitt wants to get recruits from, especially Munford’s territory. Pitt would hit the lottery by landing both guys. Of the two, I feel they have a better chance of getting Munford and actually think they’ll land the Ohio tackle.
Justin Johnson, Philadelphia, OT: This mammoth 2018 offensive lineman’s recruitment is starting to pickup and will only continue to do so. Johnson has all the traits to become a dominating lineman and I believe when he’s a senior, he’ll be a national recruit. It would be really nice if Pitt could get a early commitment from him.
Charles Reeves, Ohio, TE: Reeves has the skill set to be the #1 option in a teams passing offense. That’s one of the reasons the Pitt coaches have been pursing him for over a year. Reeves and Chris Clark would give Matt Canada two elite targets on offense. When Reeves eventually decides, I believe he’ll pick Narduzzi and Pitt.
Carmoni Green, Miami (FL), WR: Pitt needs to do a better job of landing highly rated/highly skilled players on the offensive side of the ball and Green would qualify. Despite being committed to Illinois, Pitt is recruiting him and likely to get an official visit. This is another recruit that likely won’t really make a final decision until late in the process.
T.J. Banks, East Allegheny, TE/DE: This 2018 prospect received an offer from Pitt last week, and like Justin Johnson, is a player who’s profile will only continue to improve. He’s a highly skilled local player that I feel Pitt needs to try and get a commitment from.
Some other players in the Class of 2017 and 2018 that I feel could be important recruits for Pitt: 2018 TE Trenton Gillison, 2018 WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts, 2018 DT Aeneas Hawkins, 2018 DE Alex Reigelsperger, 2017 CB Kenny Bennett.