Florida 3-star linebacker Derrveron Maxwell-Black became the 17th member of Pitt’s Class of 2021 when he committed last week.
Despite that big number of early pledges, Pat Narduzzi and his staff are not close to wrapping up this class. It would not be surprising to still see Pitt take at least seven more players before December or February.
The early reviews on Pitt’s Class of 2021 is pretty good as both Rivals and 247 have their team recruiting class rated in the Top 25 with Rivals having the Panthers at #21. That number is pretty impressive considering Rivals only has Pitt getting one 4-star recruit (Nahki Johnson), while 247 Sports as them with two (Johnson and Khalil Anderson).
That would be Narduzzi’s top rated class since taking over as head coach and that number could stay the same or even improve considering some of the players Pitt is still recruiting.
Getting a commitment is never easy but to get a pledge from some of these remaining players that Pitt is in on, will take a masterful job of recruiting from the staff.
Here are some of the top players that the staff is hoping to add to their Class of 2021:
*3-star athlete Tyreek Chappell from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pitt is done a good job of getting in his group of finalists along with Texas A&M, Tennessee, Michigan and West Virginia and are hoping he joins his friend and current Pitt commitment Javon McIntyre. However, more recruiting insiders are forecasting him to Texas A&M.
*3-star tight end Mitchell Evans from Wadsworth, Ohio. Evans told Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt that he plans on releasing a Top 10 soon and that Pitt, Central Florida, Indiana and Iowa State are at the top of his list. However, Florida State became involved by extending Evans an offer recently. Although they haven’t offered, Notre Dame recently sent him recruiting artwork. Pitt has recruited Evans for some time and their need for a tight end is well documented.
*3-star offensive tackle Xavier Castillo from Baltimore, Maryland. Pitt is looking to add one more offensive lineman and Castillo recently released his Top 6 of Pitt, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Michigan State and Maryland.
*4-star defensive tackle Elliot Donald from Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic High School. Pitt fans are fully aware of Donald and the importance of Pitt getting a commitment from him. The recruiting restrictions have slowed Donald’s recruiting because he planned on making most if not all of his official visits. Donald has been to Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Ohio State but might have wanted the chance to visits places such as LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, etc. Will Donald wait until the restrictions are lifted to make a decision or will he choose to decide before the end of summer?
*3-star defensive tackle Dorien Ford from Baldwin High School. Ford’s situation almost mirrors that of Donald in that he has a long list of offers but hasn’t been able to make many visits aside from the local schools. Ford’s offer list includes Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Penn State, West Virginia and Pitt. Ford doesn’t do many interviews so it’s hard for anyone to get a true read on where his recruiting stands. Pitt would obviously love to add him to their defensive line and pair him with Donald.
*4-star defensive end George Rooks from Jersey City, New Jersey. This name has gone somewhat under the radar but the staff continues to battle for this elite talent. Syracuse, Michigan, Notre Dame are considered the heavy leaders but Pitt hasn’t given up on him.
*4-star defensive end/linebacker Naquan Brown from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Brown is scheduled to make his decision on July 1 and will choose between Pitt, LSU, Miami (FL), Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Brown is one of the top defensive players in this class so credit to Chris Beatty for getting Pitt in his final group of teams. In terms of pluses for Pitt, you can look the strong relationship that Beatty has created with him along with Brown’s friendship with his teammate and current Pitt recruit Myles Alston. However, it’s likely going to be difficult for Pitt to beat out Virginia Tech and LSU.
*4-star linebacker Derrick Davis from Gateway High School. Davis, along with Donald and Johnson, are the top local players in the Class of 2021. Davis received his first D-I offer from Pitt as a freshman but now has one from ever major program in the country. Like with Brown, landing Davis would be a monumental accomplishment for Pitt, despite the strong relationship that Narduzzi has been able to create with him. Davis has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC but Penn State and Ohio State are considered the favorites to land him.
*3-star linebacker Zemarion Harrell from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Pitt along with Louisville, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Auburn are just some of the programs that have offered this talented linebacker from Virginia. It should be mentioned that Harrell is close friends with current Pitt commitment running back Malik Newton.
*3-star cornerback Javon Bullard from Milledgeville, Georgia. Bullard has a final seven of Pitt, Georgia, Louisville, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. The hometown school, Georgia, is obviously the team to watch but don’t discount the time and relationship that Archie Collins has created with Bullard.
3-star athlete Ahmari Huggins-Bruce from Dillon, South Carolina. Huggins-Bruce is expected to announce his decision soon and Pitt is one of the teams that he’s considering along with Louisville, Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, NC State, TCU, USC and West Virginia. Huggins-Bruce is the #2 ranked player in South Carolina and someone that can play either wide receiver or in the defensive backfield.