Jeff Capel remains busy recruiting and extending offers to top talent in the Class of 2023.
Late Sunday night, Pitt offered New Jersey wing Scotty Middleton and followed that up Monday, as he offered 2023 four-star guard Jacoi Hutchinson from DeMatha Catholic in Maryland.
Capel wasn’t done on Monday as he offered 2023 four-star forward Jalen Hooks from Indianapolis. This offer occurred while Hooks was on an unofficial visit to Pitt. Hooks (6-foot-8, 205 pounds) is currently ranked by Rivals as the No. 73 overall player in the Class of 2023, with offers from Butler, DePaul, Illinois, LSU, Wichita State and Xavier.
After a great unofficial visit I am blessed to receive an offer from the University Of Pittsburgh! Thank you to coach Capel and the rest of the staff ! pic.twitter.com/JMpgfLJKJA
— jalen hooks (@jhooks1414) June 28, 2021
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Hooks following the offer and started by asking him about his decision to come out for the unofficial visit.
“I watched Pitt a couple times last year on TV,” said Hooks. “Also, Nike Sibande graduated from my high school and him and I are pretty good friends. I’ve been talking to him already about coming down for some open gyms and then Coach Capel have been texting each other since the time that we were allowed to. After that, me, him and my high school coach agreed that I should get down here.”
Hooks and his coach made the drive from Indianapolis and arrived in Pittsburgh Sunday night. Hooks said that the unofficial visit with Pitt started at Noon and he received the offer at the start of the visit.
“The visit was great, I like the history of the university and I really liked the Cathedral and how they have the classrooms set up,” Hooks said. “I like Pitt’s playing style and the history of Coach Capel. Me, my high school and Coach Capel had a real long conversation at the start of the visit. He introduced himself more, talked about his history with great, great players like Coach Bryant with the USA Olympic team. He then talked about his coaching style and some background on how he grew up and what he stands for. I’m glad that he did that before I truly got to know him before going on the visit.
“After that, he talked about what it takes to get better and to truly move up in the rankings and how to really get better and advance in your career. As far as my game, he told me that he liked how I take tough shots and that I make tough shots. He told me that he likes how I shoot it and how I take pride in playing defense. He said that their are guys in the league that get paid for guarding and loves how I can guard players anywhere from the 1 thru 4 positions. He said that even though I can guard, he likes how I’m a nice two-way player and that I can go really far if I keep my head on straight.”
First impressions are always important and Hooks liked what he saw and heard from the Pitt program and that the Panthers helped themselves a lot today with their presentation to him.
“They definitely did,” said Hooks. “I talked to the weight trainer and that was a great, great talk as he talked to me about the nutrition. I definitely can’t wait to get back down there during the season for some games and also some football games.”