Pitt is looking to add one more wide receiver to this year’s recruiting class and one of the players they’re talking to is a big target from New Jersey.
Jayson Raines is a three-star recruit from West Orange High School in West Orange, New Jersey and is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. Aside from Pitt, Raines also holds offers from Maryland, Miami, Princeton, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Yale and a few other programs.
Raines’ recruitment is in a holding pattern because of the inability to visit colleges, something he wants to do and believes is necessary for such an important life decision. The New Jersey native is in no hurry to make a decision and is doing his best to learn more about other programs that are recruiting him, including Pitt’s area recruiter Tim Salem and receivers coach Chris Beatty.
“I’ve mostly been in contact with Coach Salem as we talk every week or two,” Raines told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “Later this week, I’m going to do a Zoom call with Pitt along with talking to Coach Beatty about football. Most recently, we’ve had a talk about Pitt’s offense and where they see me in it. Also, about how recruiting is going to go through all of this (coronavirus).”
“They’re recruiting me by telling me that they need big guys in their offense and the offense they have which is an NFL style offense, which is something that can help me down the road since I would’ve had a chance to play in one during college. They’ve also told me about their relationship with the Pittsburgh Steelers and how they practice on the same fields and see NFL players and coaches like Coach Tomlin. Pitt is a direct pipeline to the NFL.”
Last season at West Orange High School, Raines caught 47 passes for over 700 yards and 12 touchdowns. He told PSN that his big play potential is what is most attractive to prospective colleges.
Junior Year ✅
— Jayson Raines 👨🏾🎨 (@jayysonraines) November 18, 2019
“They like my size and my ability to go up and get the ball and make plays, plus I’m a mismatch for most defensive backs,” said Raines. “I also believe I have sneaky speed because of my size and long strides, I’m able to get past a lot of defenders.”
Raines is talking to a few schools right now, along with making virtual visits and despite being considered by some a lean towards Rutgers, told PSN that’s not the case and that his recruitment is wide open.
“I really want to get some visits in before deciding and I was hoping to make a decision prior to the start of my season,” Raines said. “Right now, I have no school that I’m leaning towards, I don’t know where people got the Rutgers thing I guess because its my hometown school I guess. Right now, I’m talking with Pitt a lot, Princeton, Miami, Vanderbilt. I really want the chance to get to know these schools.”
“I was scheduled to visit Pitt two weeks after the COVID-19 lockdown started which was unfortunate because it ruined that visit. The only schools that I’ve been able to see are Rutgers, Princeton, Wake and Maryland. Since I can’t take a visit there now, I’m going to have to take this opportunity with a virtual tour as a regular tour and take in as much as I can and hopefully when the season starts, I can actually make an official visit. I’m also friends and former teammates with Bryce Nelms, so I’m going to talk to him about Pitt and ask him somethings.”