Over the recent years, Pitt has had players with speed at the wide receiver position but haven’t really had a player that had elite speed that was also an excellent pass catcher and route runner.
That will be changing next season with the addition of 2020 3-star commit Jaylon Barden, who’s a receiver that can do it all.
Barden (6’0, 175) was the third player to join Pitt’s Class of 2020 as verbally committed to the Panthers back on April 27. Earlier this week, Archie Collins, Barden’s chief recruiter, was in Macon, Georgia to meet and talk with his future player.
“Yeah, he was just making sure that I wasn’t going to switch up because a lot of players try to de-commit when they’re having a great season which I am. Right now, I have like 10 touchdowns and was leading the state of Georgia in receiving yards a couple weeks ago but now I’m like third or fifth,” said Barden.
“Coach coming to see me was important because it tells me that they really still want me and are very interested and are still very much committed to me.”
Although he’s been pursued hard by both Georgia Tech and Tennessee, Barden tells PSN that he’s 100% committed to Pitt and can’t wait to star in Mark Whipple’s offense.
“Pitt is it for me,” Barden told PSN. “When I went on my official visit to me, I knew that Pitt was the place for me and there was no turning back, I told myself I’m going to Pitt 100%.”
“I’ve watched all of Pitt’s games and I believe I’m going to help them because I’m a great route runner. Taysir Mack is the only player that I’ve seen that’s like me and is a pure route runner. I can run precise routes, I can make all the catches and can do all that. That’s what they need me for. They can’t wait for me to get up there. They need playmakers and that’s where I come in. Coach Whipple and Coach Beatty can’t wait for me to get up there. We talk all the time. They want me to come in there and play right away.”
As you can tell, Barden is a confident player and believes he can and will be a star in this new pass-heavy Pitt offense.
“I really had no idea that Pitt was going to throw the ball this much,” said Barden. “Coach Whipple has opened up the offense so much. They’re throwing the football almost every play.”
— Recruit Georgia (@RecruitGeorgia) October 5, 2019
“I’m going to improve Pitt’s offense by being someone that can go over the top. Coach Beatty tells me that I’m going to be in the slot, line up on the outside and maybe even play a little scat back running back. It just depends on what the game plan is. I just know that I’m going to be doing a lot in the offense and moving around a lot.”