Saturday was an exciting day for the Pitt Panthers as they clinched the ACC Coastal Division and will now play in the ACC championship game on Dec. 4.
Heinz Field was filled with plenty of excitement and one of the people that felt that excitement was 2023 running back Jakivion Calip.
Calip attends Worthington Kilbourne High School in Columbus, Ohio and was recently named as the 1st Team All-District running back. This season, Calip collected over 1,200 rushing yards, close to 500 kick returns yards and scored 15 touchdowns.
A name you should get use to hearing, coaches get with him! Do it all back!! Link below! @jakivion1
‘23 Worthington Kilbourne RB
1,209 rushing yards
81 receiving yards
493 kick return yards
15 total TDshttps://t.co/SmiAuZpTyx pic.twitter.com/6aGmcpiuxi
— Always Talking Sports (@AlwaysTlkSports) November 17, 2021
Despite these numbers and the game tape that he’s produced, Calip is surprisingly still waiting for his first D-1 offer. Saturday’s trip to Pittsburgh was his second in the last few weeks as he was also made an unofficial visit for Pitt’s game against Miami.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Calip on Tuesday and it was quite obvious how much he enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh and how much he’d love to one day wear a Panther uniform.
“I just saw so much energy at the game, especially on Pitt’s sideline,” said Calip. “The atmosphere there was so much different than any college that I’ve visited. The tour that we took with Pitt’s recruiting coaches was so impressive and getting a tour of the complex was great. Being at Pitt for such an important game was huge. Having the chance to be around and see a team win such a big game, as a recruit, I look at it and say that’s crazy. I see that and think to myself I want to be a part of something like that. After seeing that, I really want to be a part of that and Pitt is definitely one of my top schools.”
Calip was able to be in the Panthers locker room as they celebrated after the game and one of the players he met was Pitt’s record-setting quarterback Kenny Pickett.
“Someone like him is someone that I look up to and to meet him was huge and I see these guys play on TV,” Calip said. “Also, as I was there, I was thinking that maybe one day, some of these guys could one day be my future teammates. It was definitely a big moment for me, but at the same time, I realized that I had to stay in control. I also enjoyed meeting Chase Pine, he was very nice and just overall it was a crazy experience and something that I’d love to experience if I’d get the chance to play for Pitt in the future.”
In terms of his recruitment, Calip is staying patient and believes it will pick up once teams are both finished with their 2021 season and also see the number of players they sign next month on National Signing Day. The Ohio native is confident that he has what it takes to one day be a Power Five running back.
“I identify myself as a dog,” said Calip. “I consider myself a dynamic runner, have super vision and am someone that wants the ball in my hands. When I get the ball, I will do a lot with it. I feel the biggest strength is my quickness, speed and the way I move my legs. I think it’s hard for a defensive player to try and matchup with my quickness and speed.”
Calip tells PSN that along with Pitt, he’s also hearing from Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Bowling Green and Toledo.
“Down the road, an offer from Pitt would be huge,” Calip said. “For me, it would be like getting one from Ohio State, Pitt has it all. The talent on their team, the atmosphere, just everything is big-time. Plus, my grandma and my family really love Pitt and Pittsburgh.”