Developing solid relationships are key to any business and that’s especially true when talking about college recruiting. When leaving home for the first time, athletes need to feel comfortable with the adults that will be leading their development for the next four years of their lives.
Because of a solid relationship that’s been built to this point, Pitt has made the initial cut for a talented player from Georgia.
2021 3-star cornerback Javon Bullard, from Baldwin High School in Milledgeville, Georgia, cut his list of offers down to a Top 12 that includes: Pitt, West Virginia, Auburn, Georgia, Boston College, NC State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, Stanford, Central Florida and Purdue.
“It was slightly difficult to make the first cuts because I wanted to make sure I made the right fits because it’s not just about football,” Bullard told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I need to consider other aspects of my future but with help from my family, friends and coaches I was able to do that.”
When talking about what stood out about Pitt, it wasn’t surprising to hear that the relationship he has with Archie Collins was the biggest plus for the Panthers.
“The Pitt coaches man, we just have a great connection,” Bullard said. “Everyone from Coach Collins to Coach Harley to Coach Sanders to Coach Pat, I just have a great connection with all of them. With the Pitt coaches, it’s never just about football, we talk about so much outside of football like my family and other things. But my main recruiter has been Coach Collins, that’s my guy. The Pitt program has multiple guys contacting me and they all just seem like great people.”
When they do talk football, the Pitt staff is reminding Bullard of the recent players they’ve gotten from Georgia including his friend 4-star defensive back Rashad Battle but also the opportunity he’d had have to potentially star in their defensive system.
“I’m actually cool with a couple of guys that go there and they talk to me about why they’re a good fit for me,” said Bullard. “All schools tell me that but Pitt is telling me how I can be a hybrid player in their scheme. I could play nickel and then drop me back to safety and also have me play man-to-man at the cornerback position. They really like the way I play ball and believe I can be a great defensive back, not just at cornerback.”
Now that he’s down to twelve teams, Bullard’s next objective is to determine five official visits and he’s already determined at least one of them.
“I got to come see and experience Pitt,” he said. “I actually have an official visit set up to make in June and hopefully things can get back to normal.”
While some will say it’s not a big deal that Pitt made Bullard’s Top 12 and with him listing SEC teams such as Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina, they have little chance of landing him. Fortunately for Pitt, Bullard isn’t one of those people and isn’t looking like it like that.
“With me being a southern boy, I’m sure people will automatically think that the southern schools will have the best chance but that’s not how I’m looking at things,” said Bullard. “I need to look at these schools and make the best decision for myself while considering everything athletically, academically, spiritually and socially. My family and I have to look and it’s not just about location and where I’m from. I need and will make the best overall decision.”