On Thursday, five-star big man Efton Reid will be committing, and many believe that Pitt is one of the top contenders to land him.
Reid is a consensus five-star prospect across all major recruiting sites. He is ranked No. 21, No. 23, and No. 24 in the nation, according to ESPN, 247Sports Composite, and Rivals, respectively.
In terms of all-time basketball recruits that came to Pitt, the names that come to mind immediately are Steven Adams, Dejuan Blair, and Chris Taft.
To be clear, Pittsburgh Sports Now does not know where Reid is going nor are we implying that Reid is going to choose Pitt, this is just speculation, a “what if” situation.
An ultra-skilled 7-footer out of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Adams was the highest rated recruit to ever sign with the Panthers. According to 247 Sports, he was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the entire nation, sitting behind three future NBA players as well as Isaiah Austin, who plays professionally overseas.
Although his Pitt career only lasted one season, Adams started all 32 games in that freshman campaign, averaging 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds back in 2012-13. Adams was then drafted with the No. 12 overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He spent seven years with the Thunder prior to moving on to the New Orleans Pelicans, who he plays for now. Throughout his career, he has averaged 9.6 points and 7.7 rebounds in eight seasons.
Pittsburgh native Blair was the second-highest rated recruit to commit to Pitt, coming out of Schenley High School. A 6-foot-7 forward, Blair was ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 32 player in the nation in the class of 2007 according to the 247 Sports Composite.
Blair played at Pitt for two seasons from 2007-09. In his second and final season in the blue and gold, he averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, earning AP First Team All-American honors for that year. Blair was drafted as the No. 37 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, who he would play for for the first four years of his professional career. He went on to play seven seasons in the NBA, averaging 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game throughout his career.
A 6-foot-10 center, Taft was a Brooklyn product that committed to Pitt in the class of 2003. As a recruit, he was ranked the No. 45 prospect in the nation and No. 8 center in the class according to 247 Sports’ Composite.
He played two seasons at Pitt, averaging 12 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his career as a Panther. After his collegiate career, he went on to the pros and was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the No. 42 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. In his NBA career, he played in just 17 games, averaging 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds for the Warriors.
When it comes to Pitt football recruiting, the Panthers have landed plenty of four-star prospects over recent years, but not many five stars as highly touted as Reid is in hoops.
However, there was one prospect, Jonathan Baldwin who earned that fifth star.
Baldwin, a member of the class of 2008, was the highest rated recruit in Pitt football’s recent history. A consensus five-star prospect, the 6-foot-6 receiver was ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the entire class according to 247 Sports.
Baldwin played three years for the Panthers, with his best season coming as a sophomore. He hauled in 57 receptions for 1111 yards, including eight touchdowns. After his junior season, he went on to be drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. In his three-year NFL career, he caught 44 passes for 607 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Although he was not a five star, Johnson was one of the highest rated recruits Pitt football has ever brought in. As a recruit, the 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle was ranked as the No. 44 prospect in the entire nation in the class of 2013.
Johnson was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, who took him with the 115th overall pick (4th round) in the 2017 NFL Draft. Since then, he has bounced around between the Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers, and the Houston Texans.
While Reid has not set a specific time for his commitment, his mother did announce that the commitment will be made on April 15, via her twitter page. If Reid commits, Jeff Capel and Pitt basketball will make a splash in the recruiting world and land one of their top recruits in program history.