Pitt hosted a sizeable group of talented 2021 prospects over the weekend from powerhouse Imhotep Charter School in Philadelphia, PA. Although the group came away impressed with what Pat Narduzzi and staff have to offer, one decided that he didn’t want to leave prior to committing to Pitt: 6-foot-1-inch, 180-pound safety Javon McIntyre.
To gain perspective on the newest Panther, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with interim Imhotep Charter head football coach Devon Johnson. He functioned as defensive coordinator and defensive back coach as year ago.
“The biggest thing I can say about Javon is that he loves the game of football. You’re going to get somebody that’s going to give you everything he has every single down because it’s something that he loves, and he’s born to do,” stated Johnson. “Javon is highly intelligent as well. He’s the quarterback of our defense. He makes our checks. He calls out the pass strengths. He makes sure that all the defensive backs and linebackers are lined up. He’s a vocal leader for our team on the football field.”
“Javon is a sure tackler. He played strong safety and free safety for us plus some cornerback as well,” he said. “He’s a very sure tackler and he’s great in man to man coverage. You’re going to get somebody who’s super competitive and wants to win. He’ll give you everything he has every single down.”
McIntyre was the third player to join the Panthers’ 2021 recruiting class. He’s joined by running back Rodney Hammond (5-foot-10 inches, 185 pounds) from Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, VA and defensive end Nakhi Johnson (6-foot-3 inches, 220 pounds) from West Mifflin.
Coach Johnson was asked about McIntyre’s demeanor off the field and he stated, “He’s a very mild-mannered kid. He doesn’t say a whole lot. Javon is a very good student that gets good grades. He’s a social young man that will come up to you and talk with you. He’s funny and laid back. All his teammates love him. Javon is a great kid from a great family that’s always respectful to me and the other coaches. I can promise you his family will travel to Pitt games five, ten deep. He comes from great stock.”
McIntyre visited with several talented teammates including Rahmir Stewart, Saint McLeod, Taleeq Robbins, Shafeek Smith, Enai White and Kristen McAdams. McLeod, Smith and Robbins are fellow 2021 prospects that have received scholarship offers from the Panthers.
Imhotep Charter School perpetually produces P5 football talent. McIntyre’s commitment was a bit of a coup for the Panther’s coaching staff. They have been attempting to make inroads into the eastern side of the state for quite some time. Coach Johnson was asked if Javon’s commitment might be the start of a pipeline from Imhotep to Pitt. He replied, “Yes, I hope so. Pitt has a great football program. They’re in-state so we know they’ll take care of our kids. That’s important for us when we’re sending students to a college. We ask, ‘Are you going to take car of them enough where we will allow you back into the school?’ We want to know they will be taken care of. That’s really big for us. We believe Pitt will take care of Javon and others we may send there.”
Coach Johnson was quick to remind Pittsburgh Sports Now that McIntyre may not be the first Imhotep commitment to join the Pitt football program. “Pitt actually has one of our players, former players, ready to play for them, Michael Statham. He committed to you a year ago,” said Johnson. Offensive lineman Michael Statham (6-foot-7 inches, 350 pounds) from St. Frances High School in Baltimore, MD was one of the first players to join the Panthers’ 2020 recruiting class. “Mike was with us his ninth and tenth grade year before he left for St. Frances High School. That’s another connection that we have to Pitt. He’s nasty too. Mike will always finish a block. A great kid off the field and nasty on the field. He’s smart and competitive. Pitt got a great one there.”
Coach Johnson indicated that Pitt made quite an impression on the weekend visitors. The Panthers should be in the running for the remaining 2021 prospects that visited.
“We’re really happy for Javon. We can’t wait to see him succeed at Pitt.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru