Pat Narduzzi and staff hosted a large number of talented 2017 recruits on official visits this weekend. Windsor (CT) cornerback Jason Pinnock (6-foot, 180 pounds) was amongst the dozen players that spent the weekend in Pittsburgh. The former Boston College pledge has become a priority recruit for the Panthers’ coaching staff and from all indications his first impression of Pitt was a great one.
“The visit was great. From the players to the chemistry with the commit, the visit was fantastic,” said Pinnock. “Bricen Garner was my host.”
“Pitt’s facilities, the indoor practice field, it was all amazing. The other recruits got to watch the Steelers practice but I’m from Connecticut and my flight arrived a little late. The next day we were in the Cathedral of Learning and they took me to the side and we actually ran into Antonio Brown. My mother is a huge fan and she was going crazy.”
“Coach Duzz said the some of the rooms in the facility are going to be renovated again. The place is already new and it’s going to get even better,” he said. “Heinz field is amazing. Pitt just intertwines with the Steelers. One of the coaches said being at Pitt is like doing an internship. You’re trying to get to the professional level and you’re playing right next to one of the best.”
Pitt has already received a commitment from Munhall (PA) Steel Valley HS safety Paris Ford and Lakeland (FL) cornerback Damarri Mathis. The staff has one scholarship left for defensive backs and Pinnock will have the first opportunity to commit amongst the Panthers remaining secondary targets.
Pinnock currently isn’t a member of the Panthers’ 2017 recruiting class, but it didn’t take him long to build a rapport with them. “I have been talking with the committed recruits for like a week prior to the official visit. When we got to the visit, we bonded instantly. It was almost like we knew each other longer,” he said. “Darian Street, Cam Bright, Tyler Sear, Paris Ford and Todd Sibley, we all chilled the entire weekend.”
Pinnock is very cognizant of the Panthers’ scholarship limitations. He has been designated a priority recruit but Pitt doesn’t have the luxury of waiting too long for his final decision. “My last meeting was with Coach Narduzzi. He told me I was priority and he didn’t want to pressure me but he made me aware that it’s late in the process and it’s a business. They have to have a plan A, plan B and plan C,” he said. “They are going to start offering other kids if they don’t hear from me.”
Was Jason close to committing over the weekend? “Yes, I can’t lie. No doubt. From the facilities, to the coaching staff, to the city of Pittsburgh, to the recruits, everything felt like home,” he said. “Before the recruiting process I said I wouldn’t decommit. Decommitting from Boston College was hard so I didn’t want to make another decision off of impulse. Pitt is still up there and there’s potential to commit within the next week.”
“My mom was excited. She loved Pitt. She nearly signed the ball that all the recruits signed,” he said. “My dad is really excited (about Pitt). He really likes coach (Renaldo) Hill and Coach (Josh) Conklin. He feels very comfortable with me at Pitt.”
Pinnock continues to have interest from Tennessee, Purdue, Notre Dame and Iowa State. Purdue will have an in-home visit with him tomorrow morning.
“I will decide what to do this week. There’s a chance I may cancel any future visits. We’ll see how it goes. I was really impressed with Pitt.”
Harry G. Psaros can be found at twitter at @PittGuru