The Pitt football program has gone into Canada for its latest recruit.
2019 Ontario wide receiver Jared Wayne confirmed to Pittsburgh Sports Now this morning that he’s given Pat Narduzzi a verbal commitment to become a future Pitt Panther.
Wayne (6-3, 195) becomes Pitt’s 17th verbal commitment and the first wide receiver in this class.
The big-play wideout is someone that’s probably been under-recruited because of being a Canadian player but that will change this year because he’ll be playing his final high school season at Clearwater Academy in Clearwater, Florida.
Clearwater Academy was also the home of incoming Pitt defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado, who was originally from Italy.
“Pitt just checked off all the boxes I was looking for in a school,” said Wayne. “It’s close to home, so family and friends can come down and see me. It has the program that I want to study in college (Business) and Pitt is just a great school and a great football program.”
“The fact that Pitt was my first Power Five offer was huge. Being from Canada, I’ve been under the radar for a long time and Pitt being the first major program to recognize me was huge. Pitt is just everything I want in a school.”
By moving to Florida, Wayne will no doubt get seen and recognized by plenty of programs and will likely receive more Power Five offers. Wayne says he’s 100% committed to Pitt and is just looking forward to getting better on the field.
“I’m looking forward to having a big senior season. My coach believes this is the year I’ll see a bunch of new offers but Pitt was the first school to realize my talents so I’m excited about my future there.”
Pitt is getting a big target that has the ability to make big plays down the field. I asked Wayne what is his biggest strength on the field.
“I’ve been told that I’m really good at making plays when the ball is up in the air. I get most of the 50/50 balls and I’m good at making difficult catches,” said Wayne.
This is obviously a big day for Wayne and his family but also for the sport of football in Canada. Kids from the states sign with Power Five programs almost daily but that’s not the case in Canada.
“I’ve dreamed of playing Division I football since I was a kid,” said Wayne. “It’s not everyday that you get a handful of kids from Canada with the ability to play D-I football. I think we have a lot of talent coming out this year. Canada having a Power Five player isn’t as common as you see happen in the states so it’s big for me but also for the country and other players coming up playing football. Hopefully in some small way this will put football in Canada on the map.”