Over the next month, Pittsburgh Sports Now will begin a series profiling junior recruits that Pitt football has either offered or expressed interest in. This month long series on Pitt 2019 recruiting is sponsored by our friends at Moon Golf Club. Just a short drive from downtown Pittsburgh lies a 18 hole public golf course worth your time. Moon Golf Club can host your golf events and are now taking outing and event reservations for 2018. Call Moon Golf Club at 412-262-2992.
Pitt 2019 Junior Target Series: Jayvon Thrift
Jayvon Thrift, Safety, 5-foot-10, 187 pounds, Norwin High School
3-star recruit with offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Syracuse, Temple, Buffalo and Toledo
Three years ago, Jordan Whitehead was a part of Pat Narduzzi’s first recruiting class at Pitt. This year, he’s trying to get a commitment from a player that has a lot of the skill sets of Whitehead.
Jayvon Thrift is hard-hitting, play-making safety from Norwin High School that was the first WPIAL junior to get an offer from Pitt this year. In fact, it was Narduzzi himself that offered Thrift, something that doesn’t happen a lot. Usually assistant coaches are the ones that extend the offers to players.
PSN had the chance to talk with Thrift about Pitt but also about his recruiting in general.
“Right now, the schools that are showing me the most interest are Syracuse, Temple and Pitt. Actually, I just got done talking with Coach Narduzzi, probably about 10 minutes ago, I was asking him about Junior Day. I’ll definitely be down to Pitt in order to watch spring ball,” said Thrift.
Syracuse is a school that is really recruiting him hard and starting to make an impact and it all started with his visit for Junior Day a couple of weeks ago.
“On that visit, I really felt the love from the Syracuse coaches and the entire program. When they had us walk down that carpet, it made us feel like superstars. That weekend really made an impression on me. The coaches kept telling me how I could make an impact on that team early.”
Pa Norwin Strong Safety @JayvonThrift received lots of love at Syracuse’s Jr Day to make sure He knows he’s TOP on their list! Which he now SAYS THEY are in his TOP @wpialsportsnews @WPIAL_Insider @BillBeckner @CoachLustig @CoachBabersCuse @NKnightsFBall @Evolve2_10ths pic.twitter.com/3SGeZ8Rugj
— PGH Western PA Fball (@PaWesternFball) February 4, 2018
Thrift currently holds six offers but is getting a bunch of interest from some big schools which makes this a nerve racking time for him as he is forced to sit and wait.
“Penn State wants me to come up there and see me run the forty, I think Maryland and Northwestern are pretty close to offering, Ohio State wants me to come up to campus, show me around, watch the spring game and start to build a better connection with me. A lot of schools are getting a feel for me and I’m just to build relationships with different coaches.”
“It’s pretty much a nervous time period right now but it’s still a little exciting. I’m trying to figure out who wants me more and how I would fit in with each program,” said Thrift.
As he prepares to make some visits and build relationships with different coaches, I asked Thrift what’s the top factor that could eventually help him to make his decision on his future college.
“Something that I’m really going to be looking for is really being involved with the coaches and the program. I want to be talking with the coaches on a daily basis and building that relationship daily. No one is really doing that right now. I want to feel wanted by that school.”
Surprisingly, Thrift tells me that he hasn’t had a ton of communication in the last couple of months with Pitt prior to today. He contacted Narduzzi and asked about Pitt’s Junior Day, which is taking place on February 24, but he’ll be out of town at a 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas.
With there being two signing periods now, I asked Thrift if he sees himself holding out till February or making things official in December?
“I plan on signing in December and being an early enrollee at my future school. I’m not going to commit super early but I want to commit early enough so I know where I’m going,” said Thrift.