Canada is a country obviously known for producing hockey players. Their list of D-1 football players probably isn’t too long.
However, a native of Canada is in the Class of 2018 and not only is he going to be a D-1 player, he’s become a priority recruit for the Pitt Panthers.
Jesse Luketa (6-3, 205) is an outside linebacker for Mercyhurst Prep in Erie, Pennsylvania but was born in Ottawa, Ontario. Luketa and his family decided two years ago that having him play football in the states was best for his long-term future.
“It was the best thing I could have done. Honestly, I think if I stayed in Canada, all the looks I’m receiving here, it wouldn’t be the same in Canada. Being a football player in Canada, to have these type of schools knocking on your door, you’d have to do everything right because schools don’t send many coaches to recruit there. It would’ve been tough,” said Luketa.
“I was just ecstatic that I was given an opportunity to come to Mercyhurst Prep in Erie and I’ve tried to make the best of this opportunity.”
Luketa has definitely done that and has caught the eye of many programs and holds offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Missouri, NC State, Northwestern, Mississippi, Rutgers and Vanderbilt.
The Pitt Panthers are also on that list after Luketa spoke with Pat Narduzzi.
“On Thursday, he sent me a message on Twitter to give him a call. I called him and he said he just got off his flight. Coach said that he finally got the opportunity to watch my film. It took him 3 plays on my highlight film to see that I’m the type of player he wants on his defense,” said Luketa.
“He basically told me that I’m now his recruit. He’s going to recruit me and doesn’t care that other programs want him. I’m the #1 linebacker on their 2018 board and he wants me to be a Pitt Panther and then extended an offer to me.”
“That was huge. I’m still excited over it. Coach Narduzzi offering me himself was huge. I’m ecstatic.”
Luketa told me that he believes his physicality and ability to fly around to the ball stood out to Narduzzi.
Although he just received the offer from Pitt, it’s not Luketa’s first contact with the program. The talented linebacker attended the Pitt/Penn State game and has been in contact with linebacker coach Rob Harley, someone he says he’s built a strong relationship with.
What’s next for Luketa?
He tells me that he’s planning to make a bunch of visits and one of those will be to Pittsburgh.
“I plan on visiting Pitt very soon.”
Pitt fans expect to hesr a lot about Erie linebacker Jesse Luketa over the next year.